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Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse Bangkok's latest five-star property opens its door to welcome guests with timeless Thai hospitality

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OCATED in one of the oldest roads in Thailand, Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse is surrounded by a number of tourist attractions and cultural heritage. Be amazed by many hidden gems around the enchanting neighbourhood along with their impressive background stories. Discover a selection of 303 rooms, suites and extended-stay apartments all under one roof. The hotel is home to Praya Kitchen, an authentic Thai buffet restaurant that offers an extensive line of the scrumptious buffet. The restaurant is putting a spotlight on many nostalgic signatures by bringing back forgotten recipes that passed down from generation to generation. Another dining option is YĂ o Restaurant & Rooftop Bar, offering excellent Cantonese and Shanghainese cuisine while its bar offering signature bites and cocktails with a stunning view over the River of Kings. Envision your next conference, wedding or other gala occasions with our 1,555 square meters of flexible and naturallylit function space. Last but not least, rejuvenate at the 24-hour fitness centre, refresh at the infinity pool or get completely and utterly relaxed at Quan Spa.

Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse. 262 Surawongse Road, Si Phraya, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500. 02 088 5666. www.bangkokmarriottsurawongse.com

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Publisher’s blog

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Bangkok’s newest mega projects, led by the country’s richest man

F you think Bangkok is a crowded city, hold on to your hat. It’s getting even more crowded. Several mega construction projects, spearheaded by Thailand’s richest man, Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, whose TCC Assets is behind two of the largest, are underway in central Bangkok. Both are designed to attract more people and business into the city. They include the One Bangkok, a vast 16-hectare project costing $3.5 billion that’s virtually a citywithin-a-city. Located on the corner of Rama 4 and Wireless roads, this admittedly spectacular development will feature several skyscrapers to house hotels, offices, homes and shopping malls. Charoen, the tycoon behind Chang beer and now Thailand’s largest property developer and owner of 50 hotels worldwide, has another trick up his sleeve – The Parq, a $600 million project now under construction beside Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (QSNCC). Covering 24 rai, the building includes office space, retail zones, restaurants and a hospitality component. Parq is located farther along Rama 4 road in the Klongtoey district of Bangkok. Both of TCC’s projects are served by MRT underground stations. Among Bangkok’s other massive developments is Lang Suan Village, a mostly residential project covering 56 rai now being built behind Lumpini Park. Nearby, on the corner of Soi Sarasin and Wireless is the state-of-art Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra Hall, to be located on the top floor of an office now under construction. On the chopping block, meanwhile, are the Dusit Thani, to be replaced by a hotel and retail project in 2022, and the Sivadon Building on Silom and Convent Rood, which will be demolished later this year to make way for Minor Group’s new head office. Residents of central Bangkok and office workers who commute there daily are left to wonder how congested their home territory is about to become. Lots, by the sound of it.

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End of scam featuring UK government‘copycat’ sites?

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number of disgruntled and out-of-pocket British expats will be pleased to hear that six people have been jailed in the UK for a multi-million-pound fraud that created ‘copycat’ government websites to dupe customers into using their services to buy official documents like passports at hugely inflated prices. The sites, which were promoted heavily on Google, were designed to look like official websites. Expats looking for documentation to help them apply for UK passports, were easily fooled into thinking they were authentic. In fact, the sites had had no official standing. However, they charged a fee for providing information that was available at no cost on genuine government sites. Some British expats used the fake sites to apply for a new passport to be collected while they were on vacation in the UK, only to discover at the Passport Office in London that they had been scammed. Even the allotted collection time was fake. According to one duped Brit, officials in London were aware of the scam and were sympathetic to his predicament. “They were good enough to arrange another appointment to apply for a passport on the same day,” explained the expat. “Luckily, I was able to contact my credit card company to cancel the fee charged by the fraudsters, which was almost exactly the same as the official fee. So I didn’t lose out, but I expect others did.”

How to ease (not end) Bangkok’s traffic jams

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et’s face it, the traffic congestion in central Bangkok is only going to get worse – and that’s despite the opening of new BTS Skytrain lines and extensions to the MRT Under-


Publisher’s blog ground system. People don’t want to give up their cars. It’s as simple as that. And with more and more mega projects being built with the specific purpose of attracting shoppers, sightseers and residents into this central district, there’s no end to the crush. So unless the authorities act, the situation will indeed worsen.

But what can be done?

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ost often mentioned is a congestion charge, similar to that levied in cities like London, where most vehicles have to pay a fairly hefty fee to enter a certain zone. It’s certainly helped to ease traffic flow in those cities, especially in conjunction with the high cost of parking on public roads. Thailand has the technology to impose such a charge, though critics of the system say the fees would not deter many motorists. Collecting fines could also prove a bureaucratic nightmare. Another suggestion is to allow only vehicles with a certain number or letter on their car registration to enter the central area on specified days. This is far too complicated and probably unworkable. More realistic long-term ideas include a tax on parking spaces in all commercial properties in central Bangkok, such as shopping centres, hotels and office blocks. New office buildings should be allowed to incorporate in their design only minimal parking space for deliveries and emergencies. And much stricter rules and regulations regarding parking on public roads should be imposed and properly enforced. There’s no doubt vehicles massing outside schools and universities to drop off and collect students are another cause of traffic congestion, but this is a delicate issue that can only be solved by offering safe and reliable bus services that parents can trust. Last but not least, a deliberately punitive tax should be imposed on any dwelling within the central zone. This would not only greatly discourage new projects but also encourage them to build them in cheaper areas of the city.

End the mobile madness

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hen a vehicle suddenly and for no apparent reason reduces it speed on the expressway, it may have nothing to do with engine failure. More likely it’s because the driver is on his or her mobile. Of course, it’s usually impossible to see for sure what they’re up to because the car windows are invariably covered in dark film. Driving any vehicle while on a mobile is extremely dangerous. And that includes motorcyclists who brazenly weave in out of the traffic with one hand on the bike, the other on the phone. Clearly the penalties for offenders are not enough of a deterrent. They should be increased significantly. It’s worth noting that in the UK, there was a 50% drop on drivers caught using their mobiles after

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fines were doubled and points were added to their licenses. It’s time to end the mobile madness – and it would help if those dark window films were banned, as was once mooted, so the police could actually spot offenders!

The Chinese have really arrived!!

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hailand welcomed a record-breaking 1.2 million Chinese tourists in February. That’s more than the US, Germany, France, Australia and the UK individually could muster in a year! Regulars on Bangkok’s crowded Skytrain can certainly confirm the impact of the Chinese here. So too can holidaymakers in Pattaya, Chiang Mai Phuket and other popular destinations who have to contend with dozens of buses ferrying Chinese visitors around the resort. If this trend continues, more than 14 million Chinese tourists will visit the kingdom in 2018 – that’s roughly one in three of all overseas visitors expected here over the next 12 months. Thailand is not the only country to see a huge increase in Chinese visitors. Tourism industries in the US, Europe, Japan and Australia are all benefiting from China’s massive outbound market, now said to be 100 million travelers a year – and growing. What’s more, they’ll keep on travelling overseas because the Chinese government says it plans to build another 100 airports in the next decade. Here in Thailand, Chinese visitors are viewed as great shoppers, especially for food items, health products and cosmetics. Strangely enough, they’re often bussed to out-of-the-way shopping emporiums where they are encouraged to buy souvenirs – made in China!

PUBLISHER Colin Hastings editorbigchilli@gmail.com MANAGING EDITOR Morgan Thanarojpradit morganbigchilli@gmail.com EDITOR Nina Hastings ninabigchilli@gmail.com SALES & MARKETING MANAGER Rojjana Rungrattwatchai sendtorose@gmail.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Thana Pongsaskulchoti thanabigchilli@gmail.com ACCOUNTING MANAGER Janjira Silapapairson janbigchilli@gmail.com ART & PRODUCTION Arthawit Pundrikapa, Jaran Lakkanawat PHOTOGRAPHY JL & AP CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Drew McCreadie, Maxmilian Wechsler, Ruth Gerson

RUGBY GAINS A NEW HOME

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wo major events are about to happen in the history of rugby as it is played in Pattaya. The Pattaya Panthers Rugby Club is approaching its 20th anniversary at the same time Rugby School Thailand nears completion.The culmination of these two events will result in a “marriage made in heaven”. The parent Rugby School in England is where legend says the game of rugby was founded when William Webb Ellis picked up the ball during a soccer match and ran with it, thus creating a whole new sport. The Pattaya Panthers Rugby Club was founded in 1998 and since 2000 the Panthers have hosted an annual rugby 10- a- side tournament, which is now played as a memorial to Chris Kays a former captain of the club, who was sadly killed in the Bali Bombing. The 18th edition of this famous tournament will be played on the fields of Rugby School Thailand on May 5-6. The Panthers are delighted to be invited to launch the playing fields at the school and look forward to the continued growth of the game in Thailand.

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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 Co., Ltd. 8/2 FMA Group Building, 5 Floor, Room 501, Convent Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok, 10500. ☎ 02-635-5085, ☎ 081-358-1814 Fax: 02-635-5086 :thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com :thebigchilli.com

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10 great things to see and do in Bangkok & beyond …

THE HOT LIST

By Morgan Thanarojpradit

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01 Disney On Ice Everyone’s Story

March 31-April 1 IMPACT Arena, Exhibition and Convention Centre DISNEY On Ice returns. Fans of the House of Mouse can marvel at and sing along with more than 50 of Disney’s famous characters while they skate and dance. Expect to see favourite characters from The Lion King, Toy Story, Finding Nemo and many more. With over 14 stories retold through ice skating, the production will feature 30 mostloved tunes from all-time favourite animated classics and it wouldn’t be Disney On Ice without ‘Let It Go’! www.facebook.com/ events/2022470944684094

02 Kim Hyun Joong 2018 World Tour in Bangkok April 7 Scala Theatre KIM Hyun Joong, a South Korean actor and singer known for being a member of the boy band SS501 and for his lead roles in the Korean dramas Boys Over Flowers, and Playful Kiss is coming to Thailand this April. One night only at Scala Theatre, Siam Square. Tickets are now available. www.thaiticketmajor.com/concert/ kim-hyun-joong-2018-th

03 Zummerbeach Festival presents “Summer never ends”

April 7-8 (midday till midnight) Pinnacle Grand Jomtien Resort PRESENTING a lineup of DJs to entertain the crowd this summer at Pinnacle Grand Jomtien, Pattaya. The summer party will offer

two days, two nights and two stages of bouncing fun with eight international DJs and over 20 local supporting Djs. www.eventpop.me/e/3065zummerbeach2018

04 Katy Perry WITNESS: The Tour 2018 Bangkok April 10 IMPACT Arena, Exhibition and Convention Centre WITNESS: The Tour is coming to Bangkok. In the wake of the North American tours’ stellar reviews and added concerts, Katy Perry announced the Asian leg of the tour which will be in Bangkok, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Manila, Taipei, Singapore and Jakarta. Tickets are available now. www.thaiticketmajor.com/concert/ katy-perry-witness-the-tour-2018-bkkth.html


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07 05 Songkranzonic

April 12-15 Oasis Arena, Show DC CHANG Music Connection presents Songkranzonic. The team behind Waterzonic invites all to a four-day Songkran event, Songkranzonic 2018 at Oasis Arena, Show DC. The entertainment includes international headliners such as Shapov, Borgeous, Excision, Moksi, Frontliner, DVBBS and more. www.facebook.com/ events/2044835115800825

06 amBar presents Songkran Fest Pool Party

April 13 amBar, Four Points by Sheraton Sukhumvit 15 JAXX Entertainment and amBar invite all to the “Songkran Fest” pool party on

April 13 at amBar, Four Point by Sheraton Sukhumvit 15. Featuring are international and local DJs such as DJ Swindali, Juugadi and Pepe. Open bar starts from 12-1pm. Free entry includes one drink www.facebook.com/ ambarpoolparty

07 Pepsi Presents S2O Songkran Music Festival

April 13-15 Live Park @Rama 9 THE popular radio & TV presenter WOODY returns with the fourth installment of the “S2O Festival”. The threeday Songkran EDM festival will feature a huge production and international line-ups, such as Anna Lunoe, DJ Snake, Henri and more at Live Park @Rama 9. www.eventpop.me/e/2908-pepsipresents-s2o-songkran-musicfestival-2018

09 08 Bangsaen Water Festival 2018

April 15 Bangsaen Beach BE prepared for splashing fun at Bangsaen Water Festival 2018 at Bangsaen Beach, Chonburi. Entertaining all party goers throughout the day is a lineup of famous local bands plus local and international DJs. Tickets are available now. www.eventpop.me/e/3139bangsaen-water-festival-2018

09 Retrospect Heart of the Panther

April 21 Live Park @Rama 9 ONE day only music event to raise money for the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation at Live Park @Rama 9. Tickets

are available now. There are three zones available: Safe Zone, Lady Zone and Wheelchair Zone. www.eventpop.me/e/3045-rtp

010 It’s a trap

April 27 GMM Live House at Central World BE prepared to bounce your body with the beat at the GMM Live House at Central World. “It’s a trap” is an event that will spread the musical virus throughout your body. Dance, drink and party away. www.eventpop.me/e/3016-it-sa-trap

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Travel

Hotel of the month

CHANN: Bangkok-Noi

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AKING all guests back to yesteryear when waterways were Bangkok’s primary transportation, CHANN: Bangkok-Noi is a hidden gem showcasing how canalside houses can offer peace and comfort to all. CHANN: Bangkok-Noi is a boutique hotel tucked away in the heart of the bustling city of Bangkok. This quiet riverfront accommodation is a perfect hideaway for those who look to escape the fast-paced daily lifestyle while not having to travel too far.

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Set within a local community, CHANN: Bangkok-Noi is located on the riverbank where BangkokNoi canal meets Chao Phraya River presenting a spectacular view of the old Bangkok surrounded by cultural and historical heritages like the Dusitdaram Woravihara temple. The hotel is opposite Siriraj Bimuksthan Museum. The hotel offers an array of accommodation for guests including Superior Studios, Deluxe Studios,

Junior Suites and Riverfront Suites. Each room provides the signature traditional Thai wooden houses decor on stilts with semi-outdoor space where guests can comfortably linger with a sizeable connecting terrace that opens out to a lively canal offering a great view of Bangkok-Noi canal and Chao Phraya River. Also available is the IMM Restaurant serving traditional Thai cuisine with a modern twist. Breakfast includes American Breakfast, pork congee and an array of vegetarian dishes. The hotel doesn’t have its own pier although it is planning to build one soon. CHANN: Bangkok-Noi is 45 minutes by car from Bangkok International Airport and 20 minutes to the city centre. CHANN | Bangkok-Noi. 30/1 Soi Somdej Pra Pinklaow 1(Behind Wat Dusitdaram), Arun Amarin, Bangkok Noi, Bangkok 10700. 02 435 5997. www.channbangkoknoi.com


Insight

Last of the photographers For a few heady years, Italian Alberto Cassio was the toast of Bangkok, a gifted photographer whose client list included top ad agencies and leading magazines. Then something changed – the advent of smartphones – and suddenly the work and money dried up

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EW people have felt the impact of the Digital Age on their profession more acutely and painfully than Alberto Cassio, for years one of Bangkok’s top photographers whose skills kept him in constant demand from advertising agencies, magazines and private clients. His work commanded fees of more than $1,000 a day, allowing this amiable Italian to enjoy la dolce vita right here in Thailand. But it wasn’t to last. Alberto’s fortunes plummeted almost overnight with the launch of smartphones whose built-in digital cameras offered an amazing array of options and capabilities. In one cruel swoop, they heralded a new era in photography – and simultaneously the demise of traditional photographers with their heavy reflex cameras and lenses, and bulky lighting equipment. Alberto and others like him were suddenly out of a job. During much of the 1980s and 1990s, Alberto and his partner, the well-known landscape and homes photographer Luca Invernizzi, operated a business that matched the growing need for quality images in Thailand perfectly. Their set-up included studios for still-life and modelling assignments, an extensive photo library called Photobank, which stocked their images and those of other quality photographers, as well as directories of more than 2,000 for-rent photos. The pair were also

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very much ‘photographers-for-hire,’ taking on countless freelance jobs, and charging international rates. What they had created was an almost unassailable business proposition. Alberto, now retired, explains a key element in their strategy: “With our photo library, we could offer films and slides for all kinds of situations and topics. For example, if a client wanted a photo of a girl on a beach, we could supply them at a known cost. If they took a picture themselves, it would probably end up costing a lot more – the models, travel and other expenses, and they’d still not be sure of the outcome. What if it rained or was cloudy, or if their team argued?

With our photo library, we could offer films and slides for all kinds of situations and topics. We could give clients what they wanted and charge 10-15,000 baht a photo – sometimes even 20,000 baht – and it would still be a third or even less than doing the photo shoot by themselves.” “We could give them what they wanted and charge 10-15,000 baht a photo – sometimes even 20,000 baht – and it would still be a third or even less than doing the photo shoot by themselves.” Born and raised in Turin, Alberto studied pharmacy. “Not for a single day did I want to be a pharmacist. I studied it because my father wanted me to,” he says candidly. While working on his thesis, he headed to Asia, visiting Indonesia, Australia, and Papua New Guinea. He was instantly impressed by this part of the world and knew he wanted to stay long-term. National service back home beckoned, however, and Alberto had to postpone his plans. He ended up in an army camp in southern Italy. “I left Bali for Bari, the only town in Italy with absolutely nothing to do.” After 13 months of “wheeling and dealing, and not being much of a soldier”, he quit the army and headed back to Asia, arriving in Thailand in the mid-70s. Initially, he lodged at the

Fortuna Hotel in Sukhumvit, which was popular with Air America pilots. “I remember a bunch of them telling me they were waiting to be paid for their last flight, but I’m sure the money never got to them.” His talent as a photographer had already been recognised, and he reckoned he could make a living from selling his images. He was joined a year or so later by Luca, the son of a famous portrait photographer in Turin and friend since the age of 16. Seeing the opportunities here, they plotted their joint business strategy. “We were really good buddies, and

shared everything,” he recalls. “In our early days in Bangkok, we rented a large house in Ruamrudee and turned one of the rooms into a studio. By using 500-watt bulbs and large black acrylic sheets for reflection, we could create great still-life shots.” Their makeshift methods worked a treat and clients quickly came knocking on their door. “Back in the 70s, they were only three other recognised photographers in Bangkok - Boonchu, Paul Montri, and Shrimp. And Luca and me.” One of their first clients was Huge, an advertising agency headed by veteran ad man Ron Spaulding. Assignments with other agencies followed, including campaigns for Ogilvy & Mather, Lintas and Ted Bates, all needing first-class photography for their top accounts. The workload was heavy and because of the shortage of good photographers occasionally resulted in what could be considered commercial conflicts. “I worked on campaigns for Coca-Cola and Pepsi at the same time,” says Alberto, smiling at the memory. “I also worked on the national airlines of India and Pakistan, again at the same time. And for a Nikon ad, I actually used a Canon camera.”

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Insight

Back in the 70s, they were only three other recognised photographers in Bangkok - Boonchu, Paul Montri, and Shrimp. And Luca and me.”

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e also regularly undertook photo shoots for magazines like Living, Look East and Dichan as well as in-flight publications for many Asian airlines. Supplying photos for annual business reports was another lucrative income source. Luca, who sadly passed away four years ago, was left to focus on cultural

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and historical topics. His legacy is a catalogue of more than 120 beautiful books, the majority coffee table editions featuring his outstanding photography. To this day, all are big sellers. But change was in the air. The digital revolution was taking its toll elsewhere, and Alberto knew it was coming to Thailand. Photo libraries in the UK had begun offering royalty-free distribution, and their rates were well below ours. Their people came here and told me that we were living a bubble in Thailand – the Internet had arrived, and we had to be part of it. “There was no longer any need for film; I saw it coming. So when I saw my market collapsing, I had time to prepare. As there wasn’t much hope of turning things around, in 2005 I quickly closed Photobank. “These days, you can buy a good photo for $10. I’d never sell mine for that amount.”


Alberto has scanned some 30,000 of his Photobank images, mostly on Thailand, and has an additional 20,000 on film. What are his plans for this unique collection? “Good question,” he replies. “If there’s a bulk buyer, I’d sell the whole lot.” Like many of his contemporaries, Alberto likes to reflect on Bangkok in the 70s and remembers the good times. “Everything was so cheap. Back then, you could rent a house for 3,500 baht a month. Today, that same house would cost 35,000 baht – or more. “You could even get cheaper accommodation like the Starlight Hotel on Sukhumvit 22. It cost just one dollar a night – and Luca and I shared a room! “Patpong was fun back then, and the marketing was very smart. Bars charged so little for lady drinks, and customers would buy lots of them. Now they charge 150 baht or even more for a lady drink, so it’s not fun anymore.” Alberto doesn’t frequent the more upmarket nightlife haunts either after a nasty incident involving a well-known Thai model. “She got me to dance with her to make her boyfriend jealous. It was a set-up. And it worked – he punched me and then as I left he pulled a gun on me. I’ve never been back.” Luca’s death from cancer was traumatic. “It was terrible losing my very close friend after all those years. He was a big smoker – the last thing he’d do at night was smoke, and he’d wake up the next morning to continue smoking.” Alberto has two sons, Stefano (23) and Lorenzo (16) from a past marriage. He visits Italy whenever he feels homesick “about once a year” but plans to stay in Thailand for the long-term. Most weekends are spent at the Varuna Yacht Club in Pattaya, where Alberto has been a member and regular sailor for many years. These days, he only takes photos for friends and keeps busy otherwise with his website www.photobangkok.com

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Guest review by

Artur’s 9th Edition

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HIS was our 9th consecutive visit to Artur, and as tradition apparently demands, we feasted on Côte de Bœuf. We started with an excellent dry sparkling wine, Valentin Zusslin Crémant d‘Alsace Brut NV (France), which the 15 diners enjoyed before sitting down for the banquet. The “Preamble” to our feast was Chicken Liver Rich Mousse, acclaimed by food spokesman Mark Guthrie for its creamy smooth texture and light taste, accompanied by the last sips of the sparkling or the first sips of Domaine de Begude Chardonnay Étoile 2015 (Limoux, France). Wine spokesman Alan Rankin praised the Crémant d‘Alsace, but not being a lover of Chardonnay, he was less impressed by the slightly oaky taste of the second offering. Beetroot Gazpacho with Hokkaido Scallop came next accompanied by

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more of the Chardonnay Étoile. The cold dish produced mixed responses from our gourmands, but Mark Guthrie thought it was a spectacularly colourful, refreshing, and tasty starter with a perfectly cooked scallop. Next was Ravioli of French Moulard Duck, with Mushroom Sauce, Foie Gras, and Chorizo Crumbles. This dish was widely praised, but had Mark reaching for a dictionary to properly describe its main ingredient. As we learned, the Moulard is a sterile cross between two different genera – the result of mating a Pekin hen with a Muscovy drake – and thus sometimes called the “mule duck”. Despite any doubts raised by the subject duck’s parentage, it was a wonderfully rich and tasty dish that some felt was a highlight of the day. Thomas Boedinger had chosen Domaine Pinon Vouvray Demi Sec Emotion 2014 (Loire, France) to match this; in my opinion, it was a suitable match and so did Alan (“a nice dry wine and better value than most other French wines”) but others thought a Pinot might have been more appropriate. The defining moment arrived in the form of Artur’s now famous Côte de Bœuf. Along with a very generous

Bangkok Beefsteak & Burgundy

amount of perfectly cooked meat, we were served a delicate vegetable and mushroom croustade, Gratin Dauphinois potatoes to share, and an assortment of condiments included Béarnaise sauce, peppercorn and wine gravy, three different mustards, and freshly grated horseradish. It had been cooked rare (though I dispute Mark’s claim he heard the beast “moo”). To match this, we enjoyed Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino 2011 (Tuscany, Italy), which was thoroughly appreciated, especially by Alan, who noted that the 2010 and 2012 vintages must be really special, having both received even greater praise by “expert” critics. A pre-dessert Pistachio Espuma brightened up our palates before we devoured a really delicious Sablé with Almond Cream, flavoured with Rhum, and served with Tahitian vanilla ice cream. We continued to enjoy more of the Brunello di Montalcino. And if that was not enough, celebrating a belated birthday, Alex Fisken produced bottles of Taylor’s Tawny Port to accompany two lovely cheeses hand carried from the UK – very ripe and tasty Stilton and crumbly Cheddar. Coffee or tea and Artur’s Traditional Madeleines were at hand to complete a very enjoyable lunch. As we have come to expect, Artur and his team performed to perfection and the pleasant task of thanking them for their efforts was left to the birthday boy, Alex. Artur. Bliston Residence, 9 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Bangkok 10330. 02 658 6288. artur@arturrestaurant.com


109MHz

A bar and restaurant that focuses on delivering great live music with a variety of food and drinks, 109MHz (One-ONine Megahertz) creates a new higher-end quality and experience in the Pinklao area. The selling point is the live music, seven days with seven styles featuring famous bands and singers (mostly from The Voice). Another selling point is a wide range of carefully selected bottled craft beers. Whether it is live bands, good food, good drinks, good beers, they can all be found right here. 092 945 1542. www.facebook.com/109mhz

New

on the scene Hot new restaurants, bars & cafes in Bangkok

KUTAI: French-Thai Cuisine

WHAT better than to enjoy succulent fresh seafood paired with premium white wine, KUTAI brings the exquisite Brittany dining experience to Bangkok with prices that won’t break your wallet. KUTAI means mussels in the Maori language, the aboriginal language of New Zealand. Signature dishes include mussels, freshly cooked seafood menu, crab and pomelo salad, grilled snapper and more. Expect numerous traditional Thai dishes perfectly paired with excellent choices of premium wine as well. 063 541 9242. www.facebook.com/bysita

A new café where culinary and motorcycle lifestyles blend into one

MF Motorrad teamed up with Luka Thailand for the grand opening of “Luka Moto Café by MF Motorrad”, a new lifestyle and community café in Thonglor Soi 11 that brings the love of food, coffee and bikers together like never before. Luka Moto is a community for everyone to exchange their passions while sipping freshly brewed premium coffee and enjoying all-day brunches in style. Open daily from 8am to 8pm, this surely is a new place for food, coffee (or tea) and motorcycle enthusiasts to hang out. 02 050 0469. www.lukabangkok.com

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Day’Li at Zazz Urban Bangkok

PRESENTING a chilled-out all-day dining venue, Day’Li restaurant and Zook bar are located in Zazz Urban Bangkok hotel on Rama 9 Road. These hip new venues offer the delectable deli and culinary creativity that will redefine flavours of anyone’s favourite dish. Zook is a hip rooftop bar offering fresh breezes and soothing cocktails perfectly complemented by the breathtaking views of the city. There’s something for everyone here. 02 026 3435. www.zazz-hotels.com


Dining Out

Food Exchange, Novotel Sukhumvit 20 Infusing passion into every dish served

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OASTING big flavours for the new a la carte menu, the Food Exchange dining space presents delectable selections of refreshing Thai dishes by Chef Woody and his creative chef’s team. Growing up in the southern region of Thailand, Chef Woody Patharawut Mungjit brought his creativity and passion to every plate. Aside from a background working in numerous five-star hotels, he’s worked closely with Chef Giovanni Luca, the Michelin Chef at Castello Del Nero Hotel at the Tavarnelle Val di Pesa in Tuscany and he also received the Ambassador Award by FAO in October 2016 and in August 2017 before moving back to Thailand.

Massaman kae, four-hour braised New Zealand lamb shank served in peanut curry sauce, red onion, potatoes and coriander salad (B450). The desserts include a delicious

ATMOSPHERE

The Food Exchange at Novotel Sukhumvit 20 might not be large, but it offers all necessary comfort and seating for guests where they can enjoy the delicious international buffet and numerous sumptuous a la carte dishes cooked up by the head chef and his creative and passionate team.

SIGNATURE DISHES

The signature dishes focusing on offering the traditional flavours of Thai food comprise a delectable plate of crab mango, and avocado salad – fresh and juicy crab meat served with fresh sweet mango, ripe avocado with arugula tossed in the citrus vinaigrette (B340). Next up was Tom som pla krapong – sweet and sour sea bass fillet soup with tamarind juice, shallot, lemongrass and Jaggery palm sugar (B280) followed by the out-of-this-world

combination of sweets and fruits such as the – expertly made Italian meringue served with passion fruit and mango curd (B250) followed by the Tiramisu – rich Mascarpone cream layered with ladyfinger biscuit soaked with coffee and amaretto (B250).

PARKING

Parking is available at the hotel or on the street. Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20. 19/9 Sukhumvit Road, Klongton, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110. 02 009 4999. www.novotelbangkoksukhumvit20.com

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Food& Drink Bangkok’s hottest dining deals and news

Simple sophistication with Zing’s ‘Old Fashioned’ cakes

Experience the true taste of India at The World AVAILABLE NOW, ONLY ON THURSDAY THURSDAY is the chance to indulge in authentic Indian flavours served straight from the restaurant’s very own tandoori oven. Nothing beats the rich, smoky taste of tandoori meats cooked in a proper oven, an old-world technique still thriving today using both new and traditional recipes. Priced B1,490++ per person available only on Thursday night at The World restaurant located on 24th floor of Centara Grand at CentralWorld.

AVAILABLE NOW ZING Bakery presents an exquisite range of ‘Old Fashioned’ cakes, starting from only B120++ per slice. The delectable menu includes German chocolate, old-fashioned carrot cake, Hummingbird (banana with cheese filling), coconut cream, sour cream cheesecake and coffee almond. Also available to take home as a whole cake priced at B700++ per pound. Zing Bakery is on the Ground Floor of Centara Grand at CentralWorld and opens daily from 7am - 9pm. Happy Hour Buy One Get One Free promotion from 6-9pm is available daily. 02 100 1234 ext 6485. www.centarahotelsresorts.com/centaragrand/cgcw/ restaurant/zing

02 100 6255 www.centarahotelsresorts.com/centaragrand/cgcw/restaurant/the-world

New Modern French Bistro Menu 2018 at Blue Sky Rooftop Bar & Dining AVAILABLE NOW BLUE Sky at Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok, named one of the 10 Most Exciting Rooftop Bars in the World by Architecture Art Design website, launched its brand new mouthwatering Modern French Bistro menu. The menu includes dishes like Boston lobster, 200-day aged Angus 83 t-bone steak with truffle butter, mushroom ragout and red wine jus, Dutch veal cutlet with green pepper sauce and grilled zucchini and many more. The dishes are available at Blue Sky now, every evening from 6pm - 2am (last order at 11pm). 02 541 1234 ext 4178. www.centarahotelsresorts.com/cglb

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Thai Heritage Cuisine Thursday Dinner Buffet AVAILABLE NOW, ONLY ON THURSDAYS FLAVA Restaurant proudly presents Thai Heritage Cuisine Thursday Dinner Buffet where guests can explore authentic Thai cuisine with a wide variety of local dishes and live cooking stations at Dream Bangkok Sukhumvit 15. The plates include papaya salad, tom yum goong and Hainanese chicken rice while live cooking station and BBQ corner include prawn, salmon, sea bass, mussel, squid and more. Priced at B990++ per person, children dine for free (up to 12 years old). The dinner buffet is only available on Thursdays from 6-10pm. 02 254 8500. www.dreamhotels.com/bangkok/diningnightlife-en.html


Unlimited a la carte social Saturday brunch AVILABLE NOW THE Reflexions restaurant at The Athenee Hotel, a luxury collection unveiled its new unlimited a la carte social Saturday brunch. Recently awarded the “Michelin Plate” in the first Michelin Guide to Bangkok, the restaurant invites all to explore the new sensory journey priced at B3,888++ per person (inclusive of soft drinks, chilled juices, coffee and tea) and B6,588++ per person (inclusive of premium champagne, wine and spirits). Booking recommended. 02 650 8800. theluxurycollection.com/theatheneehotel

The World’s Argentine Beef-themed buffet AVAILABLE NOW THE World restaurant’s ‘Tastes of the World’ nightly themed buffets focus on a different delicacy from a different region each night of the week. Every Wednesday from 6-10.30pm, The World presents the famous Argentine beef matched with Spanish Rioja priced at B1,490++ per person inclusive of free-flow wine and access to all buffet stations. Located on the 24th Floor of Centara Grand at CentralWorld, get your fill of Argentine beef. 02 100 6255. www.centarahotelsresorts.com/centaragrand/cgcw

JW Marriott unveils new ‘Nami’ menu AVAILABLE NOW NAMI Teppanyaki Steakhouse introduced its new menu this March. The new signature set includes prawn corn warp and avocado-lime onion, a salad of choice followed by soup. The main teppan action includes seasonal meat or seafood masterfully prepared a la minute and the meal concludes with flavourful garlic fried rice before delightful desserts. The new menu is available now at Nami Teppanyaki Steakhouse, JW Marriott Bangkok. 02 656 7700. https://goo.gl/ez6zzy

Songkran celebration at Suan Bua Restaurant AVAILABLE UNTIL APRIL 30 SUAN Bua Restaurant, Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok has unveiled the seasonal menu, Khao Chae, a traditional Thai summer dish to celebrate all the rich and ripe tastes of Summer. The cooling bowl of rice is served in cooled Jasmine water served with condiments including sweet shredded pork, sweet shredded beef, sweet fish, marinated shrimp stuffed with sweet pepper and egg, deep-fried shallot stuffed with salmon and Thai herbs and fried shredded turnip with palm sugar. 02 541 1234 ext 4151. centarahotelsresorts.com/centaragrand/CGLB

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Check out UNO MAS’ new “7 Days of Sharing” menus AVAILABLE NOW UNO MAS restaurant introduces new menus for the “Seven Days of Sharing” promotion. Prices start from just B750++ for Iberico Pork Tartare (Wednesday), Secreto Iberico (Thursday), charcoaled Presa pork (Sunday), B850++ for Iberico Carpaccio (Saturday), B999++ for Costillar Iberico (Friday), B1,555++ for Pyrenees Paella (Tuesday) and B1,800++ (for 100g) for Jamon Joselito (Monday). Enjoy the seven days of sharing menus from now until April 30 at UNO MAS restaurant, 54th Floor of Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld. 02 100 6255. www.unomasbangkok.com

Red Sky’s updated seasonal menu

Red Sky has launched a brand new Seasonal Tasting Menu for March and April serving up a memorable pastoral-inspired menu for B2,955++ per person and an optional wine pairing for B1,999++. The menu is available only at Red Sky restaurant on the 55th floor of Centara Grand at CentralWorld. 02 100 6255. www.centarahotelsresorts.com/redsky

Beef eater’s delights AVAILABLE NOW UNTIL APRIL 30 ROYAL Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers presents a delectable beef menu for carnivores at its three restaurant outlets at Giorgio’s Italian cuisine, Riverside Grill bar and restaurant by the river and the award-winning Thai restaurant Thara Thong. The promotion is valid until April 30. 02 266 0123. www.facebook. com/royalorchidsheratonhotel

Well Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 turns two! AVAILABLE UNTIL APRIL 30 WELL Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 celebrates its second anniversary with special offers of Sleep Well, Dine Well and Relax Well experience to all guests throughout April. Guests who book from now until April 30 for stays between March 19-October 31, receive free room upgrade when booking a three-consecutive night stay or book a three-night stay in Executive Suite and get B500 food and beverage credit to use at the hotel’s restaurant during the stay. Guests who check in between April 13-15 will also receive a free waterproof phone bag. The promotional room rates per night start from B2,316++ for Superior Room, B2,774++ for Deluxe Room, B3,632++ for Executive Room and B4,776++ for Executive Suite. 02 127 5995. www.wellhotelbangkok.com

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Insight

Meet Mr Clinton Lovell, GM of the AVANI Atrium Bangkok Hotel Clinton talks about his journey, his mentors, his talented team and offers advice for anyone considering a career in the fast world of hotel management

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y career began at the Blue Mountains Hotel School and working as an intern in Hilton and Accor in Australia. Later I settled into various roles at different properties and locations trying to work out which path best suited me. I began in F&B but quickly realised that my passion was for Rooms & Sales which eventually became the focus of my hotel industry journey to date. I’ve always been fascinated to explore new places, meet new people, have new adventures and stay somewhere that’s new. Hotel management was an obvious choice for my career path. I think I’ve always craved to be a part of this exciting industry. I’ve been ver y fortunate to receive wonderful opportunities throughout my career, and I've also been really fortunate to work with some great mentors and people whom I could learn from and were willing to help me for each step. I’m extremely grateful to all mentors. If I had to pick one big break, it would be being appointed the Resident Manager for Sofitel Royal Phokeethra in Siem Reap. The experience springboarded me to many opportunities of mobility and career advancement. The best advice I’ve ever received was from my dad. He said, “A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins.” For me, it encompasses the concept of attitude,

perseverance, tenacity, patience and maturity - all characteristics I noted all great general managers possessed. I feel the most challenging aspect of Thailand’s hospitality industr y is to retain talent. Success in this ultra-competitive marketplace only comes from team synergy. Accumulating and retaining winners is critical and very challenging. At AVANI Atrium Bangkok Hotel, we have a team of great talent working here. We embrace challenges and remain committed to delivering fantastic experiences to our guests and rewards to our stakeholders. AVANI Atrium Bangkok Hotel offers the best value in Bangkok modern and upscale services in a convenient location with lots of inventory, room choices and restaurant and cuisine diversity and more. Finally, for anyone considering pursuing a career as a hotel’s general manager, my advise is to choose a path that excites you and is something you love, stay humble, be patient, persevere and above all – have fun! AVANI Atrium Bangkok. 1880 New Petchaburi Road, Bang Kapi, Huai Khwang, Bangkok 10310. 02 718 2000. avani-atrium.bangkokshotels.com

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Scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus

Hollywood Night at Siam@Siam Design Hotel Bangkok SIAM@SIAM Design Hotel Bangkok hosted a stunning dining experience at Party House One. The lively event featured Thailand’s most famous pop-opera band, Fivera, along with upbeat live music amidst an array of delectable food.

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Scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus

AWAY Online and Lhong 1919 host Bangkok Coffee Cult 2018 ONE of the best opportunities for all coffee enthusiasts to learn more about their favourite brews, AWAY Online magazine together with Lhong 1919, joined forces and hosted the first instalment of Bangkok Coffee Cult 2018. The first of its kind, the event gathered unique cafĂŠs in one location. Guests had the opportunity to learn more about the different ways coffee is made, coffee and food or bakery pairings, coffee cocktails and the fast-growing coffee culture.

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Peaberry Ltd and Astoria launch the Storm Espresso Machine PEABERRY Ltd and Astoria, the world-class brand organised “Peaberry Presents In The Midst of The Stor m” to launch the latest Espresso machine named ‘Astoria Storm Barista Attitude’. The event saw the Global Brand Ambassador from Thailand and the World Latte Art Champion 2018, Gabriel Carol,holder of Romania Brewers Cup 2017. The attendees experienced numerous creative ideas towards the coffee machine which is the first in its production line of world-class Espresso machines.

Michelin Star cuisine curated by Chef Ludovic Turac at The Reflexions THE Reflexions, a modern French restaurant and a new recipient of a Michelin plate, The Athenee Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok organised a special cooking demonstration class conducted by a Michelin-starred southern French cuisine Chef Ludovic Turac recently.

Meet Chivas Masters Global Winner CHIVAS Regal organised a “Meet Chivas Master s Global Winner” to talk about Chivas Masters campaign at Revolucion Cocktail.

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Scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus

Singha invites lucky winners to private dinner party SINGHA Beer Thailand organised “Singha Food Challenge”, an exclusive dinner for Singha’s fans to share their creative ideas for food specialities to please food lovers with an exquisite gastronomical journey.

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Travel

Scene of alleged poaching by top Thai road-builder

Southeast Asia’s last great wilderness under threat By Colin Hastings

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Conservationists are ringing the alarm bells over plans to build a 138 km highway linking the massive Dawei special economic zone in Myanmar to Kanchanaburi in western Thailand as it cuts through the heart of the region’s last great biodiversity-rich wilderness, a unique area that straddles the borders of both countries.

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N Thailand itself, the proposed highway bisects the country’s chain of national parks called the Western Forest Complex – home to a host of threatened wildlife including leopards, tigers, elephants and primates. Behind the project’s construction is Italian-Thai Development (ITD), whose president Premchai Karnasuta was recently alleged to have taken part in a hunting trip in Thungyai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary, a World Heritage Site, which resulted in the killing of several protected wildlife species, in particular, a rare black leopard. Park rangers alleged they found Mr Premchai and three associates with guns, the skin of a black leopard and soup made from the female leopard’s tail. The sanctuary lies just north of the Dawei to Kanchanaburi highway. Local activists are calling for the construction chief to step down from his role.

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Travel

Ti Lo Su. Massive and magnificent – with 98 cascades in all, each slightly different in shape, form and character from the rest. It is a sight never to be forgotten and, hopefully, left in peace for all time.

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Meanwhile, opponents of the two-lane highway say it is a threat to the survival of precious species in one of the region’s largest intact forest areas, connecting forests in Thailand and Myanmar. The Western Forest complex in Thailand has the biggest population

of wild tigers outside India and Nepal. It includes Kaeng Krachan National Park to the south, home to leopards, clouded leopards, black panthers as well as tigers. “It’s one of the largest intact forest areas in Southeast Asia and what’s really unique about it is not only the wildlife that lives there but also how it provides a very important connection between the forest in Thailand and the forest in Myanmar,” the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Hanna Helsingen told the ABC. “This allows for species such as tigers and elephants to move on the landscape, to feed and mate, and disperse, which is critical for functioning ecosystems and the survival of these species.” Magnificent, incomparable Ti Lo Su, Thailand’s rarely seen waterfall The kingdom’s biggest and most spectacular waterfall is located in Thungyai Naresuan and Huay Kha Khaeng forests in western Thailand, within the Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary, an area recently in the public spotlight because of alleged illegal poaching by one of Thailand’s senior business executives. Twenty years ago, our sister travel magazine, Journeys in Asia (Vol1 No3), published a story about these natural wonders and pointed out the threats to their very existence.


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hat was said back then remains just as important and relevant today. This is our story: Near the border with Myanmar is a vast forest, pristine and magnificent, with the most spectacular waterfall in all of Southeast Asia, the incomparable Ti Lo Su. As painful as it is to acknowledge, the great forests of Southeast Asia are disappearing at a frightening rate. As recently as 70 years ago, for example, some 70% of Thailand was forested. Today it can barely muster a few pockets of its original character – rainforest with incalculable value to the human race. One such remaining area is the magnificent Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary and adjoining Thungyai Naresuan and Huay Kha Khaeng forests close to the Burmese border. Still largely unknown to the outside world and unexplored, the vast forests that make up this wilderness have been recognised as a region of unique significance, extremely rich

in plant and animal species. To its credit, the Thai government has done what it can to protect this sanctuary for future generations, but it may not be enough. Recent disturbing reports of illegal logging have yet again underlined that man’s greed knows no bounds and the incredible treasures that exist within the forest are under constant threat. Once regarded as an impenetrable jungle that only the most desperate opium warlords and criminals could tame, Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary and Thungyai Naresuan Huay Kha Khaeng, a World Heritage Site, nonetheless now form part of the biggest tract of virgin jungle left in Thailand. Umphang itself is the largest district in Tak province and covers an area of more than 4.3 million square kilometres, most of which comprises jungle-clad mountains. Apart from a few lodges on the edge of the rainforest near the village of Umphang, it is an area of pristine jungle and raging rivers, still unmapped and unknown to the

outside world. The sanctuary forms Thailand’s last frontier, a reminder of how nature once dominated man, and not the other way around. Its purity is in stark contrast to most of the other areas of Southeast Asia that are often exaggeratedly promoted as pristine. Although visitors’ access is restricted, jungle trekking-whitewater trips lasting up to six days are available through some adventure travel agencies. Bookings must be made in advance and with the cooperation of local forestry officials. Most visitors are irresistibly drawn to the idea of spending a week immersed in virgin jungle, complete with physical challenges, exotica flora and fauna, and the delicious possibility of the unexpected. There is also the tantalising prospect of being one of a privileged few to set eyes on the area’s major known attraction, Ti Lo Su, the most eye-catching waterfall in Southeast Asia. Astonishingly, these falls were only discovered by accident in 1987, when a low-flying helicopter passed

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Travel over the jungle. Equally amazing is the fact that few photographs and precious little information on Ti Lo Su are available anywhere. Even the latest travel books and maps pay only scant attention to the wonders here. In the past, the only way to get to Umphang was along the old dirt road from Mae Sot, which cut into the bandit country full of communist insurgents and rebel outposts of Myanmar. Even for local people, it was a passage to be avoided. Today, a new road links peaceful Umphang to the rest of Thailand. With Bangkok some 660km to the southeast, it is far enough to discourage mass tourism, though there are domestic flights from the capital to Mae Sot near the Burmese border. Its status as a newly established wildlife sanctuary will hopefully ensure that a large portion of the area remains protected. Besides, only a few of visitors succeed in penetrating its depths.

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he waters of the Mae Klong, which runs through the heart of the region, rise and fall depending on the season. From October to February, the river almost doubles in volume and turns into a fearsome force, making it ideal for white-water rafting, though many argue with some justification that such “eco-friendly” activities are against the real spirit of the wilderness. This rich, lush environment is thick with wildlife. Its inhabitants include the brilliant blue martin fishers, which skim across the water like skipping stones, elegant eagles gliding and spiralling on the warm thermals, hornbills, langurs, tapirs, and the delightful drongo, a delicate bird with an impossibly long 30cm tail. Never far from one’s thoughts are the crocodiles that laze on the riverbanks. The real prize, however, is tigers. These jungles are one of the last refuges of this magnificent creature in Southeast Asia. Though extremely rare, tigers have been recently photographed, dispelling rumours that they had become extinct. The Mae Klong is punctuated by some of the most awesome rapids in Thailand, and perhaps even in the

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whole of Southeast Asia. A boiling mass of raging water, it takes an expert hand to negotiate the rocks and boulders that lie so terrifyingly in wait. Some three kilometres south of Umphang is breathtaking Ti Lo Su or Falling Rain Waterfall. Set amongst jungle alive with the sound of cicadas droning like bagpipes, long-legged spiders with the green body and yellow spots, and groups of monkeys playing in the threes, Ti Lo So drops like silver rain over several tiers. The Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary is connected with Thungyai Naresuan and Huay Kha Khaeng forests to the south. Together, they form a fragile area of rich biodiversity and the largest remaining forest in Thailand. The area’s protected status is primarily due to the sacrifice of one man, Seub Nakhasathien, who lived here before it became a sanctuary. When plans were announced to dam the Mae Klong and flood the valleys, Seub led the struggle to have the area declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. He rallied the local people but ran into opposition from business interests that stood to make a lot of money from the dam project. In desperation, and to demonstrate to the world the importance of the cause, Seub took his own life. The opposition backed down from the project, and the United Nations finally approved the forest’s designation as a World Heritage Site in 1989. The wildlife sanctuary is now protected from commercial exploitation. The Myanmar side

is rich with quality teak and still in danger. An astonishing portion of the forest remains largely unknown, but exploration continues on a controlled scale. The general public is restricted, and camping is allowed only at designated sites. Most visitors explore the area by raft, starting from Umphang and floating down the Mae Klong past some hot springs located on the river’s edge. Beyond is Phapung, an area full of beehives. Arriving at Ta Sai, there is a four-kilometre trail leading to Ti Lo Su waterfall. From the town of Umphang to Ti Lo So is a distance of approximately 35 kilometres. Those who venture farther are treated to the sight of some truly awesome rainforest either side of the Huai Klotho river. This is a haven for a huge variety of birds and animals. Thailand has 920 species of birds, almost twice as many as the whole of Europe, and they all seem to winter here. Just past the junction of the Huai Klotho and Mae Klong rivers is beautiful Ti Lo Re, a series of veil-like falls that trail in fine sheets all the way along the rock wall. Nearby are some more hot springs and a series of moss-covered edges climbing in steps for 100m up a sunless cliff. There’s surely no better way of reaching the sanctuary than on the back of an elephant, a journey of at least four hours from Umphang. Within this area are park headquarters offering clean Thaistyle toilets and showers, kitchen for cooking and covered picnic tables.


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Feature

Meet Thailand’s No 1 expat football fan whose passion, home and away, is

Thai Port F.C.

Football mad, football crazy and Liverpool fan in exile PETER HOCKLEY explains why he can’t get enough of one of Thailand’s top teams, nicknamed The Lions

A fan, or a fanatic, sometimes also termed supporter, is a person who is enthusiastically devoted to something or somebody, such as a sports team; collectively, the fans of a particular object constitute its fan-base.

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Following Port in recent years has been an exercise in either bitter disappointment or heightened exhilaration The Histor y Men

Photography by John Parbury

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Port, founded in 1967, are one of the oldest established professional football clubs in the country and, historically, one its most successful; winning the Kor and Queen’s Cup on several occasions, before the advent of the Thai Premier League in 2009, the money-men and the investment that followed, changed the landscape of Thai football forever. Since successive Cup wins in the two major competitions in 2009 and 2010, Port has become somewhat of a yo-yo club, with only one season in the last five not involving either a race for promotion or a desperate fight against relegation. Following Port in recent years has been an exercise in either bitter disappointment or heightened exhilaration, but, finally, things could be looking up….

Fortress PAT “I remember the Kop when it was like a bowl of maggots. It was one of the most inspiring sights of my life. The thing levitated, man. Like any gathering of people, a rave or a gig, where people react together en masse, it was spiritual.” (John Power, singer The Cast). PAT Stadium, just a 10-minute, motorcycle taxi ride from my home, may not have the capacity, the volume or the history of Anfield, but for a Liverpool fan in exile, it’s the closest I will get. Port moved to PAT Stadium in Khlong Toei, near to their loyal fan base, in 2009, with a floodlight upgrade added in 2013. It has a capacity of 12,308 and, under the lights on the big-match night, there is no better atmosphere anywhere in Thai Football. Its biggest selling

have been a fan of Thai Port Football Club, the ‘Lions’, for eight years now and will readily admit to a few crazy moments, often borderline fanaticism. I would be the first to leap the railings on to the pitch when we gained promotion back to the TPL in 2013 and, with tears of joy in my eyes, knelt to kiss the hallowed turf. My enthusiasm is demonstrated weekly, while I am proud to belong to a collective, both Thai and Farang, which has enriched and enlivened my residence in Bangkok beyond measure. To put it simply: as a lifelong football man, following Port is amongst the best things I have ever done in my extended stay in Thailand.

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Feature I stumbled upon an interesting quote about PAT Stadium, “It is rarely used to at least half full capacity, topping in 2011 at 6,916.” The author had apparently been reading the ‘official’ attendance records because many of us have enjoyed Port brimful, under the lights, the gates locked, fans clambering up the fences and floodlights, seeking any foothold they can gain, or gap through which they can peer, to get a view of the action. Buriram, with their huge, well-coordinated travelling support, have mostly been our opponents on these momentous occasions when the atmosphere has been truly, and I know it is old cliché, electrifying.

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One extremely well travelled, visiting English fan, who had witnessed football at grounds, large and small, all over the world, compared it to Sao Paulo. Now, I have googled the Cicero Pompeu de Toledo Stadium of Sao Paolo, and it is nothing like PAT, so he must have been referring to the fans. Certainly, on capacity-full nights, under the lights, the mist rolling in from the canals, gazing across at the sea of orange and blue shirts massed in Zone C, tingle ripples down my spine. Zone C is where I started my Port career. It was slightly more sedate in those days, and I felt that entrance to Zone B, the traditional ‘behind-thegoal’ position of my youth, was a rite of passage that I had yet to earn. But, I was eager to join. They looked like they were having so much fun. Eight years later and Zone B is a second home, a place where I would almost feel comfortable with a pipe and slippers, exhibiting a warm glow, like one of those candles in a jar; probably not on Buriram days though. PAT Stadium may be a little worn at the edges, it would never win the Gaudi prize for innovative architecture, but for us, it is, to paraphrase Sir Alex Ferguson, a Cathedral of Passion.

Away Days Chainat, Ratchaburi, Saraburi, Suphanburi; with respect, not exactly names that leap from the pages of a glossy ‘Highlights of Thailand’ brochure, but they all have one thing in common: they are places I would probably never have visited had it not been for Thai Port. Whether by plane, train, bus, car or, occasionally motorbike, the Port Away Days have become stand-out moments of the season and the newly published fixture list is always eagerly scanned to seek out outstanding journeys to savour. This year, the seaside delight of Prachuap Khiri Khan is the newest to be added to the list. Port is one of the best-followed teams in the country and their away support sometimes outnumbers, and certainly out-sings, the home fans. Accompanied by a loyal band of travelling drummers, the fans keep up a constant barrage of noise, regardless of the state of play and, on the hitherto rare occasions when we do get an away victory, celebrations spill out around the stadium, occupy the long journeys home or resound through the bars that populate the towns where we often stay. We are,


ANANTARA KING’S CUP ELEPHANT POLO TOURNAMENT 2018 ANANTARA Hotels & Resorts saw another successful instalment of 16th King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament held between March 8-11. This year’s chapter raised over B4 million for many elephant charity projects bringing the total sum raised to date to almost B55 million.

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Expat Sport

Chiang Mai Sixes 2018

First played in Thailand in 1988, the Chiang Mai Sixes is still going strong 30 years later. THE Chiang Mai Sixes annual tournament has become one of the largest amateur cricket competitions in the world and one of the most enjoyable events on Chiang Mai’s social calendar as well. This year the tournament is being held from April 1-7 at the historic 120-year-old Chiang Mai Gymkhana Club. There will be a total of 109 matches with 16 five-over matches played on the first six days with semi-finals and the finals on Saturday, April 7. This makes it one of the largest editions of the Sixes ever with 36 male teams and four women’s teams. The Cup will feature the six best teams competing for the main prize and spectators will see some top-class cricket played with a number of high class sides involved. Two excellent teams are coming from Bangladesh this year and they will be challenged by a variety of local teams. A new addition this year is a sixth competition, the Vase, with an attractive new trophy up for grabs. The Cup will see the six best teams in the competition compete for the main prize and spectators should witness some top-class cricket played with a number of high class teams involved. Best of all, we will see a large number of young Thai cricketers involved in the competition, probably more than ever this year. The Lanna Rehab Thai Thevada team will give a chance to the younger Thai boys, while the best players, all close

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to national selection, will have the opportunity to play for high quality local teams such as Lanna CC and UN Irish. The Thai girls’ Thai Angels are defending champions of the Ladies Cup but will face stiff competition from a new Australian team called Central Spirit. The Chiang Mai Sixes has been supporting junior cricket in Northern Thailand for decades, and millions of baht have been raised for junior cricket by teams and spectators at the Chiang Mai Sixes over the years. The 2018 event has also attracted a number of new sponsors who are willing to support an event which attracts so many teams from around the world and does so much fundraising for junior cricketers, often from underprivileged backgrounds. New sponsors include Lanna Rehab, a company which has already done much to support young Thai cricketers, having paid the expenses for a number of junior players. Lanna Rehab will be supporting the Thai Thevada while Flight of the Gibbon, one of the most exciting tourist attractions in Chiang Mai, are proud to be associated with the Thai Angels in the ladies competition. Chiang Mai Custom Tailors are back for a second year and can provide all teams with blazers so they look the part when they arrive at the ground. www.chiangmaisixes.cricket


THAILAND INTERNATIONAL BALLOON FESTIVAL 2018 THAILAND’s first and only International

Balloon Festival held on March 2-4 at the Cowboy Army Riding Club, Chiang Mai with the exquisite backdrop of the fabulous Doi Suthep, ensuring great views, great photos and great experiences for all who attended.

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School Report

KIS International School wins Ultimaker Education Challenge APAC 2017 ULTIMAKER together with Septillion, a leading 3D printing company, recently recognised KIS International School as the winner of the “Ultimaker Education Challenge APAC 2017”. KIS received an Ultimaker 3D printer with accessories and an invitation to join the Ultimaker Pioneer Program from the United States. Ultimaker supports creative and innovative educators who pioneer new technology in the classroom and create their inspiring lesson plans to share with other teachers using the Ultimaker

Pioneer Program – Ultimaker’s education platform. CEO Jos Burger explains: “We

find it important to set the engineers, artists and designers of the future on the right path, and to support their learning along the way. We wish KIS International School the best of luck with their new Ultimaker 3D printer, which is a perfect accompaniment to developing key skills in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).” KIS International School places importance on innovation and the use of advanced technology in the classroom, allowing students to express their creativity and solve problems in inspirational ways. www.kis.ac.th

English Weekend School Now Open for Enrolment St Stephen’s Bangkok International School just open the English Weekend School. Students aged 3 to 15 years old are welcome to join the English Weekend School at St Stephen’s Bangkok every Saturday and Sunday. Students will learn English with native speakers and each class will have a limited number of students in a class to ensure quality individual teaching. www.sis.edu/bangkok

Rugby School Thailand’s first Open Day

Rugby School Thailand hosted their first Open Day recently. Over 110 families both from Bangkok and Chonburi attended the event where they met Rugby’s Head of Schools and Owners, had a tour around the School and enjoyed a delicious lunch.

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Insight

From homeless to billionaire; meet real estate tycoon Andres Pira

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EEKING an exotic refuge, serial entrepreneur and real-estate guru Andres Pira, chose the tropical paradise of Phuket as his recluse. Beautiful beaches and the impeccable Thai hospitality have proven too good to resist. And within the Land of Smiles, the story of a once homeless man who became a billionaire unfolds. This is the journey of a low-key 35-year-old billionaire, Andres Pira, founder of 19 companies, with 249 employees and plenty of advice to give. Originally from Stockholm, Sweden, Andres has always dreamt of living in a sunny abode. He was unhappy and his life was going nowhere. In an unfortunate turn of events, his grandfather died and left him $2,000 inheritance which he used to buy a flight ticket to Asia. After arriving in Thailand at the age of 20, he never left. Thailand hasn’t been easy on Andres. With no contacts, jobs, or knowledge of Thai language, he quickly ran out of funds and became homeless. Too embarrassed to request help from his family, he slept his life away on the beach of Phuket and was down to his last $100. Desperate and hungry, he asked a friend for help. That friend answered, “I won’t give you any money, but I’ll give you a book that might help.” A little upset from the response, on an empty-stomach Andres read the book ‘The Secret’. From that moment on, his life completely changed thanks to ‘The Law of Attraction’. He landed a job handing out brochures for a real estate developer. Within one year, he was promoted to a sales agent, sales manager, and finally sales director. Within three years, he excelled in real estate sales and harvested several property investors who believed in his vision and ambitions. This led to his first investor funded property development. In June 2017, Blue Horizon Developments, Phuket-based Developer, was named ‘Top Thai Property Developer’ and ‘New Hotel Construction & Design’ by Asia Pacific Property Awards 2017-2018. In July 2017, Blue Horizon Developments

collected three awards, ‘Best Developer’, ‘Best Mixed-Use Development’, and ‘Best Mid-range Condo Development Phuket’ for their B850 million Grand Himalai Project at the inaugural awards ceremony by Thailand Property and Dot Property Group. Blue Horizon’s group of the portfolio includes awardwinning The Beach Front, Skylight Villas, Signature Villas, and Himalai Oceanfront Condominium. Andres Pira and his group of companies are worth approximately B1.8 Billion. What’s your proudest accomplishment? Establishing Blue Horizon Development and having an awesome team. We’re building Phuket’s biggest resort yet, a 774-unit Heaven resort. It’s an exciting project! Tell us about your book, ‘From Homeless to Billionaire – The 18 Secrets of Attracting Great Wealth and Becoming a Money Magnet’ I had an event with one of my leading mentors and a contributor to my upcoming self-help publication, Dr Joe Vitale – The Secret & The Law of Attraction Expert. I’ve been poor, and now I am financially comfortable. The only difference between rich and poor is the mindset. So I thought, who better to learn from than a homeless person that became a billionaire by using the techniques and mindset of the wealthy? What do you want to say to other expats who come to Thailand? Using The Law of Attraction, The Secret, Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, my determination to achieve became endless. I’m not any different to anyone else. If someone else can do it, you can too. What do you possibly have to lose when you’re only changing the way you see, want, or think? Follow Andres at his official website: www.andrespira.com

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School Report

BIST 15th anniversary celebration concert

BROMSGROVE International School Thailand (BIST), in affiliation to Bromsgrove School, UK, one of the UK’s oldest and most prestigious independent boarding and day schools, recently hosted the 15th-anniversary celebration concert at the Oriental Siam Performing Arts Centre theatre.

The 100th Independence Day of The Republic of Estonia DIPLOMATS and their spouses, leaders of the public and private sectors recently enjoyed great musical performances by Regent’s International School Bangkok orchestra, choirs and music scholars to celebrate the 100th Independence Day of the Republic of Estonia at Thailand Cultural Centre.

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School Report

The Future of Medicine Students at Shrewsbury International School Bangkok are celebrating another healthy haul of university offers to some of the top medical programmes in Thailand and abroad

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QUALLING this year’s tally of offers to Oxford and Cambridge universities, and continuing the school’s strong track record in the medical disciplines, eight of Shrewsbury’s Class of 2018 have now secured their places on highly competitive medical courses. Thitaree (Tie Chongkolrattanaporn got the ball rolling earlier in the academic year, when she accepted an offer to study on the Chulabhorn international medical course at Thailand’s second oldest university, Thammasat. Some six months later we are now pleased to report that seven of her fellow classmates will also start their medical training having completed their A-level examinations this June. Kochakorn (Mint) Buasri and Chavanil (Pound) Chanpakorn are both accepted into the highly

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regarded course at Mahidol Ramathibodi; two of just 25 places awarded annually on this programme. Meanwhile, Natapong (Toon) Thaneerat and Panchanit (Pan) Torwattanakitkul both join a growing line of Shrewsbury students to be accepted into the Srinakharinwirot University/University of Nottingham (UK) joint medical programme. Pornsinee (May) Laisathit has been offered an unconditional place at Chulalongkorn University, where there are only 18 places available per intake, whilst slightly further afield both Primil (Mil) Horsin and Natasha (Mimi) Ariyaviriyanant weigh up fresh offers from Chiang Mai University, alongside their earlier offers from Rangsit University and Khon Kaen respectively. Medicine is traditionally a very popular career choice for Shrewsbury graduates, and an area in which current students are able to benefit

from the considerable insight and experience of the school’s Higher Education team, parents, alumni and other connections in the medical field. “Before I decided to pursue medicine, the school provided lots of opportunities to really understand what training and a career in medicine entails”, said Pornisee (May) Laisathit. In addition to extensive “mock” interview preparations, students also benefit from series of seminars with medical professionals, similar to the recent session for prospective Y12 medics on the subject of Medical Ethics by Dr. Julie Chomchai; Associate Professor at Mahidol University, and one of Shrewsbury’s very supportive parent community. Most students will not encounter issues such as medical ethics within their academic curriculum studies, and are therefore extremely grateful for the additional opportunities that the school facilitates to extend their understanding and knowledge in these areas. As a further convenient bonus for prospective medics, Shrewsbury is also a registered centre for both IELTS and BMAT (Biomedical Admissions Test) which, like the UK, is now a standard entry requirement for all Thai medical courses. The addition of a fourth counsellor to the Higher Education team who specialises in applications to Thai Universities, has in particular helped to develop a better understanding of the opportunities that are available for many students whose ambitions remain here in Thailand, and to strengthen the school’s support in their applications. Applications are now open for August 2018. Limited place are available. Contact admission at 02 675 1888 ext 1412 or admissions2018@shrewsbury.in.th


School Report

Blood, Sweat and Basketball

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HEN watching a sporting competition, we all get caught up in the excitement of the game, celebrating our team’s wins and mourning their losses. But what about the people behind the players? Here, at Traill International School, we have an extensive sporting programme, the most recognised of which is our basketball programme led by Coach Troy, our Director of Basketball. Coach Troy is an International Basketball Federation (FIBA) licensed coach with over 22 years experience. In 2014, he coached the Philippines under 17 men’s national team in the FIBA World Cup. You only have to look at the wealth of both

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domestic and international trophies our teams have won, to appreciate his leadership qualities. He doesn’t look like the typical coaches we are used to seeing on television, who scream at the players from the sidelines. In fact, he appears outwardly very calm, even in the midst of a particularly difficult match. He sits on the bench and conducts the players, almost like a symphony orchestra. His face demonstrating none of the angst he might be feeling. Games, of course, are the final act for the coach. His job has started from the day he meets with the players. Coach Troy’s philosophy is that to get the best from the players; you have to understand them fully, both on and off the court. He puts in the time and effort so that all of our players feel supported throughout their time with

us. That’s not to say that he doesn’t train the players hard because he certainly does. You don’t win as many championships as our teams have without hard work, but training is always constructively planned. Despite the fact that Coach Troy currently has 12 basketball teams under his supervision, he manages to give each team the attention they need to keep them performing well. He is quick to tell you how incredibly proud he is of his players, whether they win or lose. His players, in turn, acknowledge the efforts made by him to help them achieve their goals. This mutual appreciation keeps our programme strong and successful.

www.traillschool.ac.th


School Report

Appointing Senior School teachers at Rugby School Thailand It doesn't matter how wonderful our site is or how our vision may be if we don't have the right teachers, it's not going to happen

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Mr Alan Ball, Head of Senior School, Rugby School Thailand

ur selection process for the Senior School teachers is very thorough. We advertised internationally in the Times Education Supplement, which has a worldwide readership. The Head of Senior School then went to Rugby School UK for six weeks, where the selection process was finalised.

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We considered a number of factors when drawing up our long and shortlists. Things such as the strength of a candidate’s qualifications; experience teaching A Level; experience in a boarding school setting; what co-curricular strengths they could bring; job stability; and what were their motives for wanting to move to a new school in Thailand. Hundreds of applications were received, a long-list was prepared,

and the Head of Senior School then interviewed those candidates on the video link from Rugby School UK. Short-listed applicants were invited to Rugby School UK, where they were observed teaching lessons at both GCSE and A Level. A senior teacher or Head of Department at Rugby School UK observed each lesson and gave feedback to the Head of Senior School, which included pupil feedback. Candidates then had a formal interview with the Head of Senior School and the Head of the relevant Department at Rugby. The Deputy Head – Academic at Rugby joined some interviews as well. For senior positions such as Deputy Head – Pastoral and Deputy Head – Academic, the Headmaster and Deputy Headmaster of Rugby UK joined the formal interview with our Head of Senior School. The preferred candidate was given a conditional offer of employment pending receipt of satisfactory references from at least two referees. Where distance prevented attendance at Rugby School, UK, we sought lesson observation and teacher appraisal reports from candidates’ current schools, and as well as the long-list interview, the formal interview was held via video link. Subsequent appointments have followed the same pattern, although the Head of Senior School joined the formal interview via video link from Thailand. 033 141 800. www.rugbyschool.ac.th


New Senior School Staff - Rugby School Thailand, 2018

Mr Kirk Peter Green MSci PGCPSE, ARCS Deputy Head - Academic (British)

Mr David Ennis-Billing BA (Hons) PGCE Deputy Head - Pastoral / Head of Boarding (British)

Mrs Donna Ennis-Billing MA (Hons) PGCE Head of History (British)

Kirk is currently Deputy Principal - Curriculum at Prince of Wales Island International School, Penang, Malaysia. He has a Masters degree in Science (Physics) from Imperial College London, and has been Head of Physics at two previous schools. He has an extensive knowledge of the British curriculum, and overseeing a rigorous academic program in his current role. He is a PADI qualified instructor, with a great knowledge of the dive industry in the Chonburi region. Kirk’s wife is Thai, and they are looking forward to moving their family to Thailand.

Dave took his degree at Loughborough University. He is currently a Housemaster at Strathallan School in Perthshire. He has previously taught at Ampleforth College and Uppingham School, where he coached 1st XI Cricket and 1st XV Rugby. He has a very strong background in Independent boarding schools. Dave had experiences in start-up projects in two of his previous schools, and will bring a keen eye for detail to our pastoral programme at RST. He has a love of literature and looks forward to helping establish a strong A Level English programme at Rugby School Thailand.

Donna took her degree at St Andrew’s, and is currently teaching at Strathallan School in Perthshire, where she has been both Assistant Director of Studies and Head of History. Donna is an avid horse-rider, and has competed at national level in eventing, games and working hunter. She is also a keen cyclist, and has completed a solo ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats for charity. She enjoys running, and is actively involved in Girls’ Games. She is also Head of Debating at her current school. Donna has been instrumental in curriculum development and design in History at her current school and will bring expertise to the post at RST.

Miss Claire Hanly BA PGCE Head of English (Zimbabwean)

Mr Stuart Douglas BDes (Hons), MA, PGCE, PGCIE Head of Design and Technology (British)

Mr James Rees BSc (Hons), PGCE Head of Science (British)

Claire is currently teaching at Peterhouse Boys School in Harare, having previously taught at Peterhouse Girls, where she was also a pupil. Claire took her degree at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, where she majored in English and Psychology. Claire currently teaches English Literature to A Level and English Language to AS level. As Claire stated in her application ‘Being active is a large part of life in Zimbabwe’, and she is actively involved in a range of sports, coaching hockey and swimming, as well as being involved in numerous outdoor education camps. She has a deep love of books, theatre and music, and is very excited about her move to Thailand.

Stuart is currently a Specialist Leader of Education - outreach support for D&T in other schools, and Head of Design and Technology at Ripley St Thomas Academy in Lancaster. He took his degree at the University of Liverpool, and his Masters degree at the University of Warwick. He has run a number of CPD courses in Sketching and Advanced Design Communication for teachers across the UK. Stuart enjoys the outdoors and is a dedicated triathlete, having competed in five Ironman long distance and three Ironman half-distance triathlons. He also enjoys snowboarding, and looks forward to joining the co-curricular programme at RST.

James is currently Head of Science at Green Oasis School in Shenzhen, China. He took his degree at the University of Liverpool, majoring in Genetics. Upon graduating, James taught in the UK for three years before moving to China. He will teach Biology at A Level and IGCSE at RST. He lists his interests as hiking, camping, skiing, mountain biking and photography. He is a Level 2 Snowsport Instructor. James is also a Duke of Edinburgh International Award Coordinator. He looks forward to playing an active part in the co-curricular life of RST.

Mr Robert Costin BA (Hons) FRCO Director of Music (British) Robert is currently Head of Music at St Louis School, Milan. He was Head of Music at Ardingly, and Assistant Head of Music at Bedford College. He was an Organ Scholar at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he completed his degree in Music. He also has an FRCO Diploma from the Royal Academy of Music. After graduation, he moved to New Zealand where he was Assistant Director of Music at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul. His concert career has taken him around the world, with venues including Washington National Cathedral, Notre Dame de Paris, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, and Auckland Town Hall. He made his concerto debut with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in 2011.

Mr Joshua Carmody BA (Hons), PGCE Head of Geography (British) Josh took his degree at the University of Newcastle. He was Lead teacher of Geography at Milltorpe School in York until he moved to Thailand in 2017. His roles there also included being the Independent State School Coordinator, establishing links across independent and state schools across York, providing extra-curricular opportunities for able and interested pupils. Josh has been a surfing instructor and has his Advanced Open Water PADI diving certificate, is a keen swimmer, and enjoys basketball and football. He is also a black belt in taekwondo. He has led numerous school trips, including Iceland and Sicily, and looks forward to setting up a dynamic Geography department at RST.

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School Report

Mr Andrew Maguire BA (Hons), MA, PGCE Head of Modern Foreign Languages (British) Andrew is currently a teacher of Spanish and French, Contingent Commander of the CCF, and Master in Charge of Squash at Rugby School. He took his degree at the University of Coventry, where he received First Class Honours in Spanish and French. He also has an MA in Applied Translation from the University of Luton. Before joining the teaching staff at Rugby in 2006, he was a freelance and technical translator. Andrew’s interests include international film, literature and photography. He uses many resources from French and Spanish / Latin American film and literature in his classes, clubs and societies. Andrew plays a significant part in the co-curricular life of Rugby School, and looks forward to taking an active part in the wider programme at RST.

Mr Simon Forrester, BA (Hons), MA, PGCE, CELTA Head of EAL (British) Simon took his degree at Manchester Metropolitan University, and then completed his Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics and TESOL at the University of Leicester. He is currently Head of EAL at Kingswood School in Bath. Simon has taught English Language and English for Specific Purposes in the Royal Air Force of Oman, and spent three years teaching English for a private language school in Tokyo. Simon has extensive experience teaching EAL examination classes, including IELTS, Cambridge FCE, and Cambridge IGCSE ESL. He is eager to return to an international posting. He has been heavily involved in the boarding programme at Kingswood, where he is an Assistant Boarding Housemaster, and looks forward to playing an active role in the wider life of RST.

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Miss Felicity Passmore BA (Hons), PGCE Head of Drama (British) Felicity is currently teaching Drama at Brentwood School in Essex. She took her degree at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, where she was awarded First Class Honours. Felicity currently teaches A Level, IB, and GCSE Drama, so is familiar with a range of curriculum contexts. She is eager to see Drama open doors for students at RST in the fields of lighting, stage management, script writing, and acting. When training to become a teacher, she spent six weeks in Mumbai, teaching Drama skills to street children in Kandivali, and three different schools. Felicity is currently KS3 Coordinator of Drama at her school, and is responsible for designing and maintaining the lower school curriculum. As well as developing Drama societies and a Live Theatre Film Club, she is also Netball coach, and looks forward to being a part of the co-curricular life of RST.

Miss Sabrina Shah BA (Hons), PGCE Head of Art (British) Sabrina took her degree at the University of Brighton, where she was awarded First Class Honours for Painting. She also has a postgraduate diploma from the Royal Drawing School. She has received numerous awards for her painting. Sabrina is currently a teacher of Art at Sevenoaks School in Kent, where she teaches from Year 7 to IB Diploma level. She is eager to harness her enthusiasm and expertise to create a dynamic Art and Design Department at RST. Sabrina will create societies and other co-curricular opportunities for motivated young artists at RST. Sabrina enjoys sports and is currently coaching netball and hockey teams at her school. She has also been a group exercise leader at a well–known gym franchise, and is looking forward to the sporting opportunities at RST.

Mr Kieron O’Brien BA/BSc (Hons), PGCE Head of Physical Education and Games (British) Kieron is currently Head of the Enrichment Programme at The British School, New Delhi. Before this, he was Director of Physical Education and Sport. Kieron took his degree at Canterbury Christ Church University and taught in east London before going to teach in India. He has extensive experience running both Sport and Games at schools, and has a strong curriculum background in IGCSE, A Level and IB courses. He has been a ‘Healthy Schools’ Coordinator, setting up a ‘Fit for Life’ programme for pupils. Kieron is an avid sportsman, having played rugby at 1st team level. He enjoys time in the gym, and as well as rugby, he lists football, athletics and swimming as interests. He is looking forward to leading PE and Games at RST.

Mr Lee May BA (Hons), PGCE Head of Business Studies and Economics (British) Lee is Head of Business Studies and Economics at Hill House School in Doncaster. He took his degree at Leeds Metropolitan University and then started his teaching career. He took time out of teaching to work in the City of London for nine years, before returning to teaching. He held leadership positions in his two previous schools, and is an A Level examination marker. Lee is an enthusiast of rugby and cricket, and has been a coach, and referee or umpire of both sports. Lee has organised various young enterprise schemes with his pupils, including a stock market game and Christmas fayre. He looks forward to providing these enrichment clubs and activities for his pupils at RST.

Mr Christopher Sudding BEng (Civil) PGCE Head of Mathematics (British) Chris has been Head of Mathematics at The Oratory School in Berkshire for the last six years, establishing it as one of the leading academic departments at the school. After Officer training at Sandhurst, he took his degree in Civil Engineering at Cranfield University. He served as an Officer within the Corps of Royal Engineers (British Army), serving in locations worldwide and rising to the rank of Major. Utilising his degree in Civil Engineering and military experience Chris enjoys bringing Maths to life and creating a stimulating and passionate learning environment in the classroom, where pupils are able to fully understand (and demonstrate) the mathematical processes that are being taught. Chris enjoys outdoor challenges and expeditions, recently taking a group of students to Nicaragua for a three week expedition.

Miss Lei Zheng BA, PGCE Teacher of Mandarin (Chinese) Lei took her degree at Liverpool John Moore’s University. Lei’s recent post was teaching Mandarin at Downe House School in Berkshire, where she taught GCSE, A-Level, and Pre U Chinese. Lei is from Jilin Province in China, and before she embarked on her teaching career, she worked as an interpreter, and was a professional acrobat with the Chinese State Circus European Entertainment Corporation. She would like to introduce gymnastics and circus skills clubs to RST. Lei has been a resident tutor in a boarding house, and has been active in the promotion of Chinese language and culture. She looks forward to bringing Chinese to life for students at RST.


Expat Women

Noa Yerushalmi – A Woman on the Move By Ruth Gerson

How do you get rid of the deep attraction to Thailand that seems to have permeated your being and flowed in your blood? Well, you don’t. You go with the flow. And this is what Noa Yerushalmi, a free-spirited woman, has been doing

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OA traced her childhood and part of her teen years to Thailand where her father had served as military attaché at the Israel Embassy in Bangkok and later as a businessman. Upon graduating from ISB (International School Bangkok), Noa did what the majority of Israelis

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of that age do; she went to the army, where eventually she served in the elite Office of the Chief of Staff. University studies followed with Noa obtaining a double degree in both law and psychology. However, it did not take her long to realise that her heart was in the area of psychology. She was drawn to working with people

and their family dynamics, share their spirit and observe their personal choices. Working with people of all ages, Noa pursued a further degree in Clinical Psychology to enable her to work in what she had chosen. “I felt that professionally I have come home,” she says, “My energy is there; my heart is there.”


Half a decade later Noa discovered the coaching field, and it inspired her to many more ways in which she felt she could make a difference in people’s lives. One of them was Management Coaching, the avenue that Noa chose – she felt it was practical and an excellent way to earn a living. That led her to be one of the first business coaches in Israel, and work with well-known companies such as Reuters, UPS and Neopharm, and the many hi-tech companies that Israel is known for, and her career took off. Noa feels that she mingled her coaching and managerial skills with great success while continuing to work in psychological therapy and counselling. However, life’s choices were not all that clear-cut for Noa. Multitalented, she was led in different directions including the world of music. This attraction coincided with her establishing the counselling service for students in RIMON, Israel’s largest professional music college. It seemed very propitious as she was able to fulfil a life-long dream when she performed singing on stage

accompanied by her boyfriend who played the guitar. It was a highlight of her life. A few years later, following a breakup with a loved one, Noa entered an emotional phase that drove her to compose the music to forty songs using the texts of the wellknown Israeli poet Rachel, as well as passages from the biblical book Song of Songs. These songs were cut onto a CD with only a few that made it to the Israeli airways.

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rriving at this crossroad, it was time for Noa to decide which direction to take. It was not an easy decision, but psychology won out. “Reality dictated that I must concentrate on just a few interests so that I can do these well,” she says. Therapy and coaching remain her mainstay, and music has become a hobby, as does her abstract painting, an interest that she discovered a few years ago. This later hobby turned out to be a money maker, not huge, but nice enough. Noa‘s artistic style is colour abstract which she now sells

worldwide on the Internet through various social media and eBay. So what brought Noa back to Thailand? In 2014 she came on a visit wanting to experience Thailand through the eyes of an adult. When she got off the aeroplane in Bangkok her eyes filled with tears, as memories began to flood back – the smells, the visions, the people- all seemed to welcome her back. And her “street Thai” as she calls it, returned as well. Her command of the language is quite remarkable, considering the years that she has been away. In her words, “Bangkok received me with warmth like a big hug, and although the city changed physically, its essence has remained the same.” It was during this trip that her love to Thailand was reignited. It was also when the germ of an idea began to grow into a decision to return and spend more time here. In 2016 when Noa’s workload became too heavy, she re-assessed her life and decided that she needed to create a balance that would allow her more time for her own life, to do the things that she loves chiefly, travelling the world. She bought a one-way ticket to Asia choosing Bangkok as her base with travels in the region to such places as India, Vietnam, Bali, Laos and a bit further to Australia. To tailor her new lifestyle, Noa cut down her clientele to a manageable number that she takes care of via SKYPE, one of today’s amazing tools of connectivity. This enables her to remain in touch with the people in Israel whom she coaches and counsels while experiencing Thailand by “just being here.” Noa likes to refer to her time here as Sabbatical, which in fact has drawn longer than the customary term implies. Technicalities aside, the sojourn continues with the blend of psychology, counselling and coaching, selling her paintings while continuing to enjoy Thailand and all that this region of the world has to offer. www.coach.il noa-yerushalmi.pixels.com www.instagram.com/noapaintings patiphon.co.il/music/riu7043RIU

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Health

Hypnotise your way to health

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ITH all the health issues sprouting in today’s world, many people decide to depend less on the chemical and synthetic medication and turn towards alternative choices. Believe it or not, hypnotherapy is one of them. In this issue, The BigChilli called upon Kamil Bigda, Clinical and General Hypnotherapist/NLP Master Practitioner and Roshni Srikureja, Clinical and General Hypnotherapist/Reiki Master at Bangkok Hypnotherapy to inquire about hypnotherapy and how it can help improve people’s health today. What is hypnotherapy? Hypnotherapy is a form of complementary therapy that uses a natural yet altered state of mind to bridge a direct communication with our subconscious mind. This fascinating state, often called trance, helps us explore and work with our deepest thoughts, feelings, and values. Could you describe your typical work day? The beauty of being a hypnotherapist is that there are no typical days. Our work day starts by reviewing session notes and healing strategies prepared for our clients. Before each session, we clear our minds with meditation, self-hypnosis or using positive affirmations. We clean the work space so that clients come into a neutral environment without any energetic residues. Our sessions are customtailored to individual client needs. After the sessions we often prepare audio recordings with healing suggestions

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for our clients and follow up on emails and social media. Some days are also dedicated to preparing workshops and seminars on Hypnotherapy and Past Life Regression. How did you get started in this field? My partner and I have always been fascinated with the human minds. We both carry a passion for healing and transforming people’s lives. This desire to better the world later led us to studying Hypnotherapy in one of the top schools in the world and becoming licensed professionals. How do most people enter this profession? Most people start by finding a course in hypnosis and later someone to practice with. Practical skills are a very important step to becoming a qualified professional. Please briefly introduce the founders of the company. Kamil Bigda, a founder, was born in Poland and spent most of his life in Hawaii and later Spain and India. Having worked in many professional fields, he possesses a wide range of experience and now resides in Bangkok where he focuses primarily on Hypnotherapy, Coaching, and Past Life Regression workshops. He speaks English, Polish, and Spanish. Roshni Srikureja, a co-founder, is from Bangkok. She used to work in the IT field, and later became a highly recommended energy healer. Currently she’s dedicating her professional time to Reiki and Hypnotherapy. She speaks Thai and English.

take themselves out of it with our skillful guidance. We’re there the whole time to help them navigate their own minds. There are no negative side effects, however while in hypnosis we often gain a greater understanding of our most inner thoughts, and not everyone is prepared to face them. Does it treat any illnesses? Which ones, and how? The potential of Hypnotherapy to heal the body and mind is limitless. We have many success cases in treating depression, anxiety, chronic pain, migraines, traumatic experiences, phobias, addictions, insomnia and more. We help people by tapping into the subconscious mind to find and heal the underlying cause of illness and to stimulate an accelerated healing response in the brain. Can hypnosis heal physical pain? If yes, how so? Absolutely. Many forms of pain result from limiting beliefs about ourselves or unresolved events and emotions from the past. In deep hypnosis we can reframe and heal those, successfully removing the underlying cause. We also teach people how to manage pain, as pain receptors in our body are controlled by brain.

What qualifications does a hypnotherapist need? Qualified hypnotherapists will have a diploma from a recognized institution that is affiliated with a known Hypnotherapy Board (International Board of Hypnotherapy or American Board of Hypnotherapy, to name a few) and follows a strong code of ethics. They will also have at least 400 hours of theoretical and practical training. Why hypnotherapy? What treatments do you offer in addition to hypnotherapy? Hypnotherapy is natural, non-invasive, and has no sideeffects, so it became an easy choice. Results can often be achieved within a single session, contrary to other approaches like psychotherapy or conventional counseling. In addition to Hypnotherapy we offer Reiki treatments and Life Coaching (NLP). What is hypnosis healing? Can you explain the process? It has been long known that our minds can heal the body. Although science is still trying to understand how, we already know that under right conditions our minds interpret imagination and suggestions as reality. In Hypnosis we use this phenomenon to trigger an accelerated healing response. Is there any danger of being put under hypnosis? Any possible side effects? Please explain. These are very good questions. No one is ever being put under hypnosis, that’s an old myth from Hollywood movies. We love to dispel such misconceptions. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis therefore our clients put themselves in a deep, relaxing state of trance, and later

I’m sure some people might feel unsure or fear they will have subconscious messages under hypnosis … is that something to be afraid of? What are subconscious messages? While “in” hypnosis (never “under”), most people are completely aware of everything that happens and retain full memory of their experience. Since all hypnosis is selfhypnosis, our subconscious mind cannot accept a suggestion or an idea that’s not ours, or one that could be harmful. These are some of the myths propagated through movies and through stage hypnosis. The only subconscious messages that we give to our clients are the ones that facilitate a positive mindset, speed up healing, create a feeling of safety, comfort, and deep relaxation, and motivate our clients to transform their lives and become their best selves. How do you go about alleviating potential concerns for those thinking about partaking in hypnosis? If you ever drove a car, but could not remember the whole route because your mind was in the auto-pilot mode, you were in hypnosis. Whenever you read a book or watched a movie that was so captivating that you didn’t even

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Health Is there an age limit as to who can have hypnotherapy? There is no age limit, although sometimes age may impact the ability to hear, see, remember, visualize, or follow directions. We’ve had clients over 75 years old and we’ve work with children as young as seven (under parental supervision of course). Do you recommend hypnotherapy for children? Why or why not? Children are the ones who can benefit from the hypnotherapy the most. Their vivid imagination helps achieve results faster than with adults. Also, their critical voice is still underdeveloped which means there is less resistance to change. notice the surroundings, you hypnotise yourself. In our consultation sessions and periodic workshops, we show people how to experience hypnosis in a safe environment. What treatments do you offer using hypnotherapy? Our treatments include smoking cessation, sleep improvement, a release from stress and anxiety, reducing physical pain, surgery preparation, managing phobias and addictions, past life and natal regression and many more. A full list of services can be found on our website. What does one have to look for in order to make sure they are being treated at a qualified clinic or institution? When looking for a professional clinic it’s important to check credentials and experience of the therapists working there. Do they have a professionally looking website? Any business cards? Are they easy to reach and do they respond in a timely manner? Ask them if they belong to any board of hypnotherapy. This will tell you if they adhere to high standards or not. If you see someone using a pendulum or swinging their watch as it’s often portrayed in movies: run, or come to Bangkok Hypnotherapy instead. Do you recommend self-hypnosis? Absolutely. It’s like going to a spa for the mind. Have you ever undergone hypnosis? Do you remember what it was like? Please explain. Oh yes, we’ve been hypnotised hundreds of times. Each time was different, yet always peaceful and relaxing. Being in a state of hypnosis is a fascinating and often a life changing experience. At least that’s our experience of it. How long does a session usually last? Most sessions last anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the technique used and client’s needs. What are the benefits of hypnosis? Deep relaxation, improved self-esteem, greater clarity, a sense of relief, are only a few. There are countless benefits, really. Who should undergo hypnosis? Why? Anyone interested in self-improvement or removing self-made obstacles to success should experience hypnosis at least once. It can be truly a life changing experience.

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Can you break down the costs of hypnotherapy for someone interested in it? We do our best to make sessions affordable. A single session costs only 3,000 baht. Discounted rates are available for people who book several sessions in advance. More information can be found on our website.

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What is the hardest part of your job? romoting Hypnotherapy in Thailand. Local culture still operates on a taboo implying that getting a psychological help shows weakness, or that there’s something wrong with us. The opposite is true, taking care of your mind requires real maturity and willingness to adapt to new conditions. Educating people on these subjects can sometimes be challenging. What part of your job that is the most challenging? Dispelling myths about Hypnotherapy. Most rewarding aspect of your job? Being able to witness and facilitate healing and transformation in our clients in a short amount of time, often right in front of our eyes. What advice to you have to give to those thinking of taking up a profession dealing with hypnotherapy? First you need a proper education and lots of practice. Just like you can’t learn a new language in a weekend course, pick a school that offers a comprehensive curriculum with lots of hands-on practice. The one day or weekend courses will only give you a brief overview which isn’t enough to start. Also, it’s important to constantly work on yourself, so that your own insecurities or issues don’t project out in sessions. Many therapists never do this part and end up causing more harm than good. A final word of advice is that once you’re certified, continue educating yourself, learn new techniques, and practice hypnosis as much as possible. What advice do you have for someone interested in having hypnotherapy? Set an intention to heal, book an appointment, and come in with an open mind. www.bangkokhypnotherapy.com


Spa & Wellness

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01 WELL HOTEL BANGKOK SUKHUMVIT 20 TURNS 2! 02 ‘JUICY SPA RITUAL’ ONLY AT SPA CENVAREE ENJOY a 150-minute revitalising experience with the use of coconut and mango that will leave your relaxed both in body and mind while leaving your skin smelling heavenly in time for a memorable holiday. There’s a choice of Choose either mango or coconut body scrub and a nourishing top-to-toe body massage. The treatment is priced at B3,500 net. Book now and take home a free bottle of Spa Cenvaree body lotion. The special promotion is available until April 30 , at Spa Cenvaree, 26th floor, Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld. 02 100 1234 ext 6511, 6516. www.spacenvaree.com/spa/centaragrand-centralworld-bangkok

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WELL Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 is celebrating its two years anniversary with Sleep Well, Dine Well and Relax Well experience. For guests who buy any 60-minute massage at regular price get a 30-minute Well Classic Partial Massage for B222 net (from B900++). Well Classic Partial Massage offers options of head and neck, back and shoulders, arms and hands and feet and legs massages. The promotion is available from April 1-30, 2018. 02 127 5995. wellhotelbangkok.com


Expat Women

BETADINE & MANCHESTER CITY YOUTH FOOTBALL CAMP

MUNDIPHARMA, the owner of Betadine brand announced the launch of “Betadine Youth Football Camp”, the first-ever opportunity for Thai youths to meet and learn from City Football Schools coaches from Manchester City as well as former Thai national football coaches.

‘THANN’ LAUNCHES ‘AGE INVERSION EYE SERUM’

THE eyes are the windows to the soul, but we often work our eyes too hard albeit unaware of the adverse effects. THANN, skin and hair care product brand launched Age Inversion Eye Serum at a special Eye-revitalising Workshop attended by numerous A-list celebrities at Siam Tea Room restaurant, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park.

RADO BRINGS NEW PHENOMENON TO RUNWAY

RADO, Swiss watchmaker famous for innovative design and its use of revolutionary materials to create some of the world’s most beautiful and durable watches, together with Kwankao Svetavimala, a famous fashion designer of Kwankao, created an excellent runway phenomenon for the first time with the product launch fashion show “RADO x Kwankao” collection.

IWC DIPLOMATIC COFFEE MORNING

THE International Women’s Club held its Diplomatic Coffee Morning at the Dusit Thani Hotel with many new ambassadors and spouses attending.

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El Gaucho Argentinian Steakhouse restaurants Vietnam Opened in 2011 at Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). It had two floors, 196 square meters, 120 seats including outside terrace. The restaurant was replaced in 2014 to: 74 Hai Ba Trung, District 1, HCMC. It has four floors, 580 sqm, 220 seats including outside terrace.

El Goucho Argentinian Steakhouse Sukhumvit Soi 11 Argentina, Mr Himi said: “It is my aim to establish the benchmark in Southeast Asia for a contemporary, specialized steakhouse concept. I am serving best quality products, pairing steakhouse classics with a modern approach and creating an overall high service, wine and dine experience in a down-to-earth environment with some playful details. “Argentina is an incredible passionate country with a food culture combining South American and European influences and in which beef is not only honored but celebrated. This honoring for such a high-quality product and the celebration of it within a comforting environment is what my El Gaucho restaurants is about.” When asked about his staff and their training, Mr Himi said: “Employees should never be seen as a group, but with the understanding of the individual – individuals with different ambitions, backgrounds, educational levels. Running an operation with such a high number of employees is never easy, but with patience and most important, with guidance, training becomes part of our daily business. “As for our customers, I am very glad to see on a daily base the versatility of my guests in Vietnam and Thailand. Backpackers, families, business men, authorities, newlyweds, celebrities, regulars and tourists, locals and foreigners from all over the world at any age between 25 and 70. And this is exactly what I want, an establishment that has

its doors wide open for anybody who wants to enjoy a lovely dinner. Despite the name, Mr Himi revealed that the chain purchases its meat from America and Australia because this is where the best available meat products are sourced. “We buy meat from selected farms in Victoria, New South Wales and individual farmers and ranchers in the United States. Most important for us is to ensure a consistent quality experience.”

Future plans

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r Himi said he doesn’t follow any life motto or philosophy. His plans are to continue to develop his restaurant chain with particular focus on Vietnam and Thailand and the optional development within new countries. “This year we are opening a new location on the coast of Vietnam, in Da Nang, as well as in Ho Chi Minh City. An additional location in Koh Samui will open later this year and we are always having an additional location in Bangkok in mind. “Southeast Asia is a very interesting and also exciting part of this world. I have lived and made business in many developing countries throughout my life and have learned to not only enjoy it, but to face challenges with thoughtfulness and patience. Developing countries, emerging markets, means to never stand still, but to be very patience at the same time.”

The restaurant was opened in 2011 at The Crescent, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, one floor, 170sqm, 120 seats and outside terrace. This restaurant was relocated in 2017 to: Unit CR1-U3, The Crescent, District 7, HCMC. It has two floors, 390 sqm, 210 seats including outside terrace. Another restaurant was opened in 2011 at 99 Xuan Dieu Street, West Lake District, Hanoi with four floors, 310 sqm, 150 seats and outside terrace. The restaurant was relocated in 2017 to: Lot G2, ground floor, Somerset West Point, No. 2 Tay Ho Street, West Lake District, Hanoi. It consists of one floor, 420 sqm, 160 seats including outside terrace. The fourth restaurant in Vietnam opened in 2013 at No. 11 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. It has two floors, 360 sqm, 150 seats including outside terrace. Thailand First restaurant opened in 2012 at Sukhumvit Soi 19, North Klong Toey, Bangkok. It consists of four floors, 1,200 sqm, 380 seats including outside terrace. Opened in 2015 at 88/36 Sukhumvit Soi 55, Thonglor, North Klongton, Wattana, Bangkok. It has one floor, 320 sqm, 200 seats including outside terrace. This restaurant opened in 2016 at 18 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (Mercure Hotel), North Klong Toey, Bangkok. It has one floor, 395 sqm, 130 seats including outside terrace. Opened in 2016 at 162/8 Moo 2, Chaweng Beach Road, Surat Thani, Koh Samui. One floor, 220 sqm, 120 seats including outside terrace. Opened last year on the 3rd floor, King Power Complex, 8/1 Rangnam Road, Phayathai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok. It has one floor, 300 sq m and 120 seats. Latest addition to El Gaucho opened this year at 245 Phrabaramee Road, Patong sub-district, Kathu district, Phuket province. It has two floors, 500 sqm, 150 seats including outside terrace. www.elgaucho.asia

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DIPLOMATS p Meet the people uniting nations

His Excellency Waldemar Dubaniowski Polish Ambassador replicating Singapore success in Bangkok

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Diplomat: H.E. Waldemar Dubaniowski

Polish Ambassador replicating Singapore success in Bangkok

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Words MAXMILIAN WECHSLER

hen Waldemar Dubaniowski was appointed Polish Ambassador to Thailand in June 2017 it was in some ways like coming home. In 2013 he wrapped up a very successful posting in Singapore, where he was elected dean of the diplomatic corps. After returning to Poland for a few years and working in the business sector, Mr Dubaniowski eagerly accepted a new appointment in Southeast Asia, this time based in Bangkok. While acknowledging some big differences between the two ASEAN neighbors, he fully expects that his time in Thailand will be equally rewarding and productive. He’s certainly made a good start on that. The Polish Ambassador is a bit different from most of his colleagues in the Bangkok diplomatic corps in that his work experiences are quite varied. For example, in the period between his Singapore and Bangkok postings he was business development director of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Polish division. He’s also spent time in the political realm and served on the Polish Olympic Committee. He believes these experiences are valuable when it comes to approaching and working with various sectors in Thailand. Mr Dubaniowski also has responsibility for Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. He considers himself a cultural as well as a diplomatic emissary to the region. “It is my hobby and also my responsibility to promote the Polish culture here. Poland is the country of Chopin and we have already organized in Bangkok quite a few musical performances featuring Polish artists collaborating with Thai artists. We are also organizing the screenings of Polish movies, and I am pretty sure this will be successful because we have some very interesting ones lined up. Being the Ambassador of a culturally rich country like Poland opens up a lot of possibilities and we want to do it in a productive and efficient way.”

The Ambassador was fresh and full of energy when we met at Athenee Tower on Wireless Road at the Polish embassy. Designed by a Polish architect, the embassy is a marvel to behold and radiates a pleasant atmosphere for staff and visitors alike.

Background “I was born in 1964 in the Polish capital of Warsaw. Everything in my early life happened there: I was born, educated and worked in Warsaw. The only thing that didn’t happen there was my baptism. That was in Kraków, one of the oldest and the second largest city in Poland. It’s a city with a lot of culture behind it.” In 1998, he was appointed one of the youngest Secretaries of State and then dealt with media and telecommunications. A few years later he became the Head of the Cabinet of the Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and continued to work for him until the end of the second term, which ended in December 2005. Then he started working for the business sector, but in 2008 the next president Lech Kaczynski proposed to Mr Dubaniowski to take the post of the Ambassador to Singapore. Unfortunately, two years later, President Kaczynski tragically lost his life in a plane crash near Smolensk airport in Russia on April 10, 2010 along with other 95 passengers and crew members. Mr Dubaniowski said he found Singapore to be a very interesting place and inviting for innovative Polish entrepreneurs. He was happy to facilitate contacts for them. “I served almost five years in Singapore and I was a very active Ambassador there. We really did quite a few big things on the economic and cultural front,” said Mr Dubaniowski, adding that he’s pleased to see things moving in that direction in Thailand as well. “One of the largest and most important investment funds in Singapore decided to invest in Poland, and this was thanks to our engagement and active involvement. I know it doesn’t sound very modest, but we really put

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together a very successful term in the “Lion City”. This led to some really good investment opportunities and the opening of the Singaporean market to Polish goods like meats and apples. It was really a great time and I think very productive for both sides. “Some Polish companies decided to come to Singapore to do trade deals, and our two governments signed an agreement on taxes and some other things. It was really a good time. One Singaporean company that showed interest in coming to Poland and invest is the GIC Investment Fund. It’s the largest Singapore-based investment fund and the 8th largest worldwide in the Sovereign Wealth Funds category. After a long negotiation process they decided to invest in Poland and it has been very successful for all concerned. I think my business experience was a definite plus in finalizing the deal.”

Switching gears “After serving almost five years abroad I went back to Poland, and surprisingly I got an offer to work for the big international corporation PricewaterhouseCoopers. It was an extremely interesting experience, but I was quite happy, not to mention honored, to be offered the ambassadorship here a few years later. I am very much a lover of Asia and Southeast Asia in particular. I like the people, the climate and lifestyle among many other things. I came to Thailand for the first time when I was a student in 1990. I was a backpacker and stayed in hostels in Bangkok and Phuket. I was captivated by the Thai culture and really enjoyed the local cuisine, especially street food. I still love it.” The Ambassador said Singapore and Thailand are vastly different, starting with scale. “Singapore is really just one city, is being called “Red Dot”, and the total population is much less than in the Bangkok metropolitan area. The traffic jams that are typical of Bangkok aren’t really even possible in Singapore, which makes life a little bit different. But Thailand is so much more diverse and this makes it more colorful. “Thailand also offers more opportunities for an active Ambassador who is keen to promote business relations. All in all, Thailand is a very nice country and it’s doing very well. Economic development in Thailand and Poland is at a similar stage. Recent statistics show both countries with close to four percent growth in GNP. Our economies are really doing well.” Asked how he manages to look after four countries, Mr Dubaniowski replied that his Embassy isn’t a one-man show. “The embassy staff is very professional, well organized and prepared to do a lot of work. Some of our team members are especially focused on Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. I also travel from time to time to these countries. I try to keep in contact with other Ambassadors from the EU with responsibility for these countries. We exchange information, views and opinions. We also have a diplomat based in Yangon whose office serves as a consulate too.”

Strategic location “This embassy was opened in a new and really prime location in the second part of 2016. It was designed by a Polish architect,” said Mr Dubaniowski. “Our guests are always impressed because the design is very nice. This is a very good location in our point of view

because this building also houses the embassy of the EU of which Poland is one of the largest members. The embassies of Finland and Colombia and a number of other embassies are close by. Bangkok is a great city, but the unpredictability of transportation is a drawback. It makes it easier when you have so many embassies and venues nearby. Moreover, Athenee Tower is in a good strategic location to get around Bangkok. “We have approximately 20 people working at the Embassy. Some are Polish and some are Thai. I must underline that I am very satisfied with our local staff. They are very well prepared, professional and well educated, and they have a very good understanding of the diplomatic relations between European countries and Thailand. It is definitely a great help to me having such high quality people at the embassy that can speak the local language and give insight on local culture and customs as well. Some have picked up a bit of Polish, although none are fluent. Fortunately they are all fluent in English.” The Ambassador said the most important role for the Embassy and for him as Ambassador is to promote trade by facilitating contacts between Polish businessmen and entrepreneurs and their Thai counterparts. Another very important duty is to look after Polish citizens in Thailand. “Sometimes we have to help them out, for example when they have accidents or health care issues. We may have to supply documents or provide other assistance. This is the responsibility of the consular section of the embassy and it is working quite effectively. The consular section is open every day but appointments are taken only three days a week because sometimes the officers need to travel to other places in Thailand to take care of issues. “We have an Honorary Consulate in Phuket, with Mr Anuwat Burapachaisri in charge there. He has visited Poland and is very much into our culture. He is also a good photographer. He is well suited for the job. If any of our citizens have a problem in the South of Thailand we urge them to contact him.”

Taking in Thailand

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r Dubaniowski said he’s very much looking forward to visiting all parts of Thailand. “If you want to be a real Ambassador and understand the country it is not enough just to meet the professors or businessmen in Bangkok. You have to get to know a broad spectrum of people, how they live and what is important in their lives. So far I have visited Chiang Rai, Hua Hin and Ayutthaya and I am planning more trips. I really like to visit markets in the provinces. Thailand has such diversity, that’s one of its great beauties. The culture is different in the North and in the South, and both are different from Bangkok. “From my observations, ‘Land of Smiles’ is an appropriate description of Thailand because the people are very nice. They always try to help others, especially in the provinces. A lot of people have the impression that Thailand is just nice beaches and seaside resorts, but it is much more than that. There are also beautiful forests and mountains with a great diversity of plants and animals. I always advise my colleagues who plan to visit Thailand that they should make plans to go trekking and camping and not just stay by the sea.”

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Bilateral relations “Poland and Thailand established formal diplomatic relations in 1972. Before that we just had a trade representative here. Last year marked the 45th anniversary of the opening of our embassy here. However it is worth mentioning that cordial bilateral relations date back to the royal visit to Europe of His Majesty King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V) in 1897 when he visited Warsaw. These days relations between our countries are really great. Thailand is very popular in Poland because of the food and its well-known hospitality to tourists. If you have the chance to travel to Poland you will be surprised at the number of Thai restaurants and other places where you can experience Thai culture,” the Ambassador said. “As a member of the EU we are very much interested in restarting negotiations on a free trade agreement with Thailand. Everything stopped on this front in 2014, but in December last year the European Council decided to become more active here. That’s definitely a good

Kraków-Wawel Royal Castle

Warsaw-Chopin statue

Kraków-Main Market Place

Warsaw-Wilanow Palace

development and after the general election there will be more chances for participation for our companies and entrepreneurs who wish to make alliances in Thailand. “In my opinion, diplomacy in these times is somewhat different than it was in the past. These days an Ambassador has to understand very well how the economy works and the details of the bilateral trade picture. If you want to do something you must support every single instrument and regulation that will be helpful in promoting business and trade. Of course, it has to be a win-win situation. I am pretty sure that our Polish entrepreneurs and their Thai counterparts understand that this is the best way to go forward. “My time in Singapore was definitely a very good experience because the country focuses very effectively on promoting a variety of business platforms. But what I see is that there are some very interesting business strategies emerging in Thailand as well. Some Thai companies, especially the big ones, are very keen to explore the European market. I have made it very clear that I will try to help them and provide them with expertise.

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“We have quite a decent trade turnover with Thailand, around US$1.1 billion both ways. The major segment of trade is processed food that Thailand exports to Poland, like frozen seafood or fruits including mangos. We also import rubber. Poland exports to Thailand mainly chemicals and machinery. One Polish company that decided to invest in Thailand is manufacturing medical gloves. They are doing quite well and have decided to expand their activities. Polish companies are also involved in services, including IT. We have some very good IT people in Poland and some of our IT engineers are working in Thailand offering various services and they are doing very well. “One of the Thai largest companies, Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF), decided to invest in Poland and they already have a very successful business there. They took over the third largest chicken production company in Poland. They are long-term investors and they are quite happy in Poland. The majority of shares belong to CPF but there are also Polish shareholders and the management team is Polish. It is a very effective cooperation.

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Warsaw-the Castle Square

“Interestingly, a Polish entrepreneur began making Polish sausages in Chiang Mai about three years ago. The company name is ‘Polish Smoked’ and it is gradually becoming a success. The sausages and meats made in Chiang Mai are of very good quality and are now available at Bangkok supermarkets.” Mr Dubaniowski said it’s quite difficult to say how many Polish nationals reside in Thailand because they are not obliged to register themselves with the Embassy. “We estimate there’s between 400-500 Poles living in Thailand. As for tourists, in 2017 the number of Polish tourists exceeded 100,000 for the first time, and this is something I am really proud of. It is interesting that in the last couple of years the number of Polish tourists visiting Thailand has increased between 8-10 percent annually. And this is despite the fact we still don’t have direct flights from Poland to Thailand. I hope that during my term our Polish airline LOT will decide to reopen direct flights between our capitals. As it is, our tourists have to fly first to cities like Munich, Frankfurt or Paris and then take a connecting flight to Bangkok.”


Personal When he has free time the Ambassador indulges his passion for sports, especially tennis. “ I was the President of the Polish Tennis Association and I still like to play and watch the game. I am also very much interested in soccer. Here in Thailand it is not so easy to keep active because I am always busy, but I promised myself that I will make it a point once a week, on Saturday or Sunday, to play tennis with some of my colleagues. In fact, after arriving in Thailand I started jogging. Every Sunday, if I have time, I join a group of diplomats and other colleagues and jog with them in Lumpini Park. It’s an excellent exercise. After an hour of jogging I am completely wet but it is very nice because afterward I feel very much relaxed and in a good state of mind. This is what I have to do. And being a big fan of sports and knowing somewhat the region of Southeast Asia, I will share with you a “crazy idea” that came to me as a former Member of the Polish Olympic Committee. It would be a great idea to organize the Olympic Games jointly by all ASEAN countries. So if it ever happens in the future, remember that I was the Godfather of this idea. “I am planning to learn some Thai. I don’t want to say that I will be fluent but want to understand general meanings, verbs and basic expressions. But I must say it is not so easy to learn Thai,” said Mr Dubaniowski, who besides Polish can speak English, Russian and German. The Ambassador remarked that it is always a bit difficult and challenging for diplomats’ wives to constantly have to adapt to a new setting. Luckily, he said, Ewa Dubaniowska “is very energetic and very engaged. She made the decision in Singapore to become involved in a few charity projects. Together with some other Ambassadors’ spouses, Ewa was very active in one charity project to collect funds for a delicate operation on a child who was suffering from a brain tumor. The operation was successful and the life of the child was saved. In her time in previous posting my wife gained experience in how to be engaged and useful, and in Bangkok she quickly became involved with the Spouses of Heads of Mission. They are very active here and involved in all kinds of charitable and other activities. “She is a person who likes to organize things. She is also very much interested in the local culture, so she decided to attend a special course organized by the Thai National Museum. At the end of the course you can theoretically be a cultural guide. She is continually learning about Bangkok cultural attractions, various buildings and monuments and so on. As I have said, I am very interested in bringing Polish culture to Thailand and she actively supports this as well. “So we are both quite happy to be in Bangkok and Thailand. An Ambassador’s term in Poland is usually three to four years, but sometimes it can be longer. So I hope that after finishing my term here Poland will be much more visible in Thailand. I want people here to know about Polish successes, Polish culture and Polish hospitality. Like Thais, Polish people are very well known for their hospitality. That’s why I always encourage people to look at our website: www.bangkok.msz.gov.pl Facebook: Embassy of Poland in Bangkok and Poland Embassy and Twitter: @PLinThailand. “And finally I have to tell you the truth; it is really cool to be Polish.”

CV of H.E. Mr Waldemar Dubaniowski Education 2004 -2005: Postgraduate Studies in Management of Companies in the EU, Warsaw School of Economics. 1996 -1997:  Postgraduate Studies in Foreign Trade Economics, Warsaw School of Economics. 1991-1993:  Graduate of the Polish National School of Public Administration. 1984 -1991:  Masters Degree in Social Science Studies, University of Warsaw. 1979 -1983:  High school diploma (matura) Johann Wolfgang Goethe High School in Warsaw. Professional Experience June 2017: Appointed by the President of the Republic of Poland as the Ambassador of Poland to Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. 2014 -2016: Business Development Director, PwC Polska (PricewaterhouseCoopers). 2009 -December 2013:  Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Singapore. In 2012 elected as the Dean of the whole Diplomatic Corps in Singapore. 2006 -2008: Strategic management, media and telecommunications advisor and consultant. 2005:  Head of the Cabinet of the President of the Republic of Poland (Secretary of State). 2003 -2005:  Vice-president strategy and management, Exatel S.A. (PSE S.A. Capital Group). 1998 -2003:  Member of the National Broadcasting Council (Secretary of State level office). 1996 -1998:  Director of the Group of Cabinet of the President of the Republic of Poland, Chancellery of the President. 1995 -1996:  Advisor to the minister, Economic Committee of the Council of Ministers. 1993 -1995:  Chief specialist, Office of the Government Plenipotentiary for European Integration and Foreign Assistance. 1993: Assistant to the Under-secretary of State, Ministry of Industry and Trade. Courses & Training • Internship at the European Commission’s Directorate General responsible for industrial policy, and policy towards small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). • Project Management Training organized by the German Ministry of Administration in Hannover. • Course for Supervisory Board Members organized by the International Foundation for the Development of Capital Market and Privatization. • Seminar organized by the Warsaw Stock Exchange: “Supervisory Boards’ Challenges in public-listed companies.” Additional Professional Engagements • Since January 2016 ‒ Member of the Innovation Council at a large, leading Polish company from chemical sector (ZAK S.A.). Member of the Board of the “Polska Innowacyjna” (“Innovative Poland”) Foundation (2015-present). • Mentor: Global Shapers ‒ Mentor4Starters program (2015-present). • Member of the Polish Olympic Committee, and concurrently President of the Polish Tennis Association. • Member of Supervisory Boards of several large companies including: PZU S.A. (insurance sector), PKP S.A. (largest Polish railway company), and Polish Chemistry S.A. • President of the Polish “Know How” Foundation, dealing with implementation of projects in the area of development aid. • Member of The Polish Promotion Emblem Foundation “Teraz Polska” (Poland Now), nominated to the Board by successive Presidents of Poland.

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Insight

Vanuatu comes courting Thailand James Elcocke-Harris of Vanuatu Information Centre (VIS) spoke to Maxmilian Wechsler about the country’s new citizenship by investment program, which offers an honorary second citizenship and passport in a tax-free, British Commonwealth member state, in exchange for a contribution to Vanuatu Government Development Funds

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O-CALLED “CIPs” (Citizenship by Investment Programs) are widespread in the Caribbean nations, and some exist in Europe. However, Vanuatu’s initiative is unique as the first and only CIP of its type in the Asia Pacific. Citizenship is conferred on people who donated US$280,000 (under which a ‘family application’ of up to four can be made) to the country. Successful applicants have the same rights and privileges as a native Vanuatu citizen, except that they cannot stand for government office or get involved in politics in any way. “Vanuatu passport-holders enjoy significant benefits – such as visa-free

visa on arrival travel to 127 countries – including the UK, Schengen Europe and Russia, with more countries added each year,” explained Mr Elcocke-Harris.


“VIC has its head office in Port Vila, with branches in other Asian capitals, now including Bangkok. We just opened a fledgeling office on Sukhumvit Soi 26, and we plan on expanding in the coming months. “This is an aviation hub for Southeast Asia, and so we are working to establish direct flights between Port Vila and Bangkok. It will connect us to China and the Middle East, and even Europe and the Americas. A whole new range of markets will open up.

“Thai nationals don’t need a visa to go to Vanuatu,” added Mr Elcocke-Harris. A former British Army Officer, Mr Elcocke-Harris was appointed by the government of Vanuatu to represent and promote its interests under the VIS initiative. “As a small island nation, Vanuatu’s resources are limited, and their voice is not very powerful. “Vanuatu’s principal revenue source is tourism. We are relatively close to Australia and New Zealand, so that’s where most of our tourists come from.”

“Vanuatu is located northeast from Australia in a little-known archipelago of 83 islands, 65 of them populated, spread over a maritime area of 1,300 kilometres north to south. The population of 285,000 is quite dispersed, and this requires a lot of air connectivity there are a lot of flights between islands. “The weather is good all year round. During the daytime, the temperature may get up to 28ºC but not much more than that. At night it may drop to 20ºC. www.gov.vu

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p Last month’s best events in pictures

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PHILIPS UNVEIL ‘HUE’ APPLICATION

‘AP THAILAND’ LAUNCHES ‘LIFE SUKHUMVIT 62

PHILIPS Electronics (Thailand) Ltd introduced Philips Hue, the latest lighting gadget for the digital generation offering up to 16 million colour changes through mobile application control. The official launch was held at the headquarters in the aptly-named open house, “Play with Light”, with a short role-play demonstration of Philips Hue’s myriad functionalities.

AP (Thailand) PCL, leading property developer for urban residences reinforced its vision of digital innovation for higher living quality by launching its first joint condo project with Mitsubishi Estate Group, ‘LIFE Sukhumvit 62’. Located on Sukhumvit Road, LIFE Sukhumvit 62 is easily accessible through multiple travel modes which brings resident’s lifestyle to the next level with the innovative ‘Life Space for the Future’ design concept.

TRAVELOKA’S BLOGGER AWARDS 2017

TRAVELOKA, the online travel agent and one of the fastest growing tech companies in Southeast Asia, recently hosted the first Traveloka’s Blogger Awards 2017 handing out awards to Thai travel bloggers in numerous categories including Best Photo 2017, Most Informative Blog 2017, Most Creative Blog 2017, Most Social Shares 2017 and Most Popular Vote 2017. The event marked one of the largest gathering of bloggers in Thailand. 116

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EXPEDIA THAILAND VACATION DEPRIVATION STUDY

EXPEDIA Group held an Expedia Thailand ‘Vacation Deprivation Survey’ press event at The Athenee Hotel Bangkok, A Luxury Collection. The event aimed to release the findings from the 2017 edition of the Vacation Deprivation Study of which Thais are reported to rank among the top five in the world to be vacation-deprived.


SUPERSPORTS UNVEILS SUMMER COLLECTION

CRC Sports Co, Ltd recently unveiled Supersports Summer collection with a Supersports Summer Fashion Show 2018 to welcome the hot season with a fresh and cool fashion show. The new collection was revealed at Hall 100, BITEC Bang Na.

MOCCONA LAUNCHES ‘UNLOCK YOURSELF’ CAMPAIGN NEW BALANCE REVEALS JACOBS Douwe Egberts TH Ltd, the manufacturer and distributor of MocNEW COLLECTION cona coffee, organised “Moccona, Unlock Yourself ” event to unveil the new brand ambassador, Aum – Patcharapha Chaichua while promoting the new Moccona Trio 3-in-1 that comes in four flavours.

NEW Balance Thailand recently unveiled the latest collection 574 Classic – Legacy of Grey at the New Balance 574 Iconic event at Central Embassy. Karma Sirikokarn, a Thai-Indian surrealism artist, took part in the event to design and product the artwork which went up for charity auction to raise money for the Foundation for Rehabilitation and Development of Children and Family (FORDEC) foundation. TheBigChilli 117


Beyond Bangkok 

Amara Bangkok staycation promotion

BOOK your stay at Amara Bangkok between March 1 - October 31, and enjoy an early bird discount of 20 percent off the best available rate! Also, guests can enjoy additional perks including two complimentary signature drinks at AkaAza rooftop pool and bar and complimentary late checkout at 2pm (subject to availability) and more. 02 021 8888. book.grabrooms.com/amarabangkok/?rate_plan=20staycation

MATES’ RATES Friends or Family visiting Thailand? Let them know about these deals

Sawasdee Songkran Package at Shangri-La Hotel

CELEBRATE the Thai New Year in the heart of Bangkok and enjoy Sawasdee Songkran Package at Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok. The package includes a complimentary daily breakfast buffet at NEXT2 Cafe for two adults and two children (up to 12 years old), and the price starts from B7,000 per room per night for a minimum stay of two consecutive nights. The package is available from April 12-18. 02 206 8788. www.shangri-la.com.

Fun-Filled Family Holidays at ibis Hotels Thailand IBIS Hotels Thailand invite families to enjoy an unforgettable getaway in Thailand’s top beach destination. Design your trip and choose an ibis Hotel in Bangkok, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Phuket, Krabi or Koh Samui and enjoy special value deal starting from B1,840++ per night per room. www.facebook.com/ibisthailand

Creative District Discovery Room Package

Well Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 turns 2!

WELL Hotel Bangkok celebrates its second anniversary with a great offer! The award-winning lifestyle wellness hotel offers the Sleep Well, Dine Well and Relax Well experience package offering various promotions on accommodation with free breakfast, spa treatment and food throughout April. Guests can enjoy up to 12 percent discount on top and complimentary breakfast for two. Enter promo code 2WELL on the hotel’s website when making reservations. The promotion can be booked from now until April 31, for stays between March 19 to October 31. 02 127 5995. www.wellhotelbangkok.com

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DISCOVER a new destination within Bangkok and experience The Creative District and Chao Phraya Riverside while having a relaxing stay at Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers. The special promotion for the Deluxe Riverview Room offers guests a panoramic river view. Price starts from B6,000++ per night inclusive of breakfast buffet for two, room upgrade to next available room type (subject to availability), late checkout until 4pm (subject to availability), a one-time credit of B1,000 net per stay towards any F&B spent in the hotel and neighbourhood map. The promotion is available from now until July 31. Use LCDPKG code when you contact for reservation. 02 665 3165. www.facebook.com/ royalorchidsheratonhotel

Prince Theatre  MONTARA Hospitality Group recently

launched Prince Theatre Heritage Stay Bangkok, a new vintage hotel in the form of a more than 100-year-old cinema located on Charoenkrung Road under the arms of Heritage Stay Co, Ltd. The project is a part of the Treasury Department’s conservation development of state property programme which allows the private sector to partake in development of local properties as heritage tourist attractions. The hotel features a Box Office bar and cinema and comfortable accommodation. Book today for a minimum of three consecutive nights stay and receive special 20 percent discount from April 1 to October 31. 02 090 2858. www.princeheritage.com

Zazz Urban Bangkok  PRESENTING a hip new hotel experience

in Bangkok with contemporary accommodation at a great location on Rama 9 Road. Zazz Urban Bangkok offers 48 stylish rooms with a smart blend of urban, chic and practical comfort. Features include ultra-comfortable beds, rain shower stalls, tubs in five of the Z-Plus rooms and tubs in both the lavish suites. The hotel also has all-day dining venue, Day-Li, and a rooftop bar, Zook. 02 026 3435. www.zazz-hotels.com


Beyond Bangkok

Escape Hotels unveil Escape X Clubpopp ESCAPE Hotels recently revealed a vacation with an artist campaign titled ‘ESCAPE X CLUBPOPP’ to exclusively welcome this year’s hot months. Collaborating with Peera Suk-a-Sa or Clubpopp, the summer is sure to be more fun than ever before.

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Beyond Bangkok

01 01 Family holiday at Hyatt Regency Hua Hin 02 BKK platter set menu at Cape Panwa Hotel 03 The flavorful taste of pineapple at Hilton Pattaya 04 Mango salad with fried shrimps at Cape Dara Resort Pattaya 05 Turn back the clock at Dusit Thani Hua Hin 06 Double awards at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hinl

RECOGNISED as one of the most popular destinations in Asia for family getaways, Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, a paradise for luxury family travellers recently launched its best ‘Family Package’ ever. Family Package offers special prices for families who book between now and October 31, for a minimum of two consecutive nights with special rates starting from B5,800++. 032 521 234. www.huahin.regency.hyatt.com

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CAPE Panwa Hotel, Phuket proudly presents a three-course set menu of a choice of appetisers between glass-noodles salad with vegetables or Thai soup with seafood, mushrooms and lemongrass; roast duck in red curry with grapes, tomato and pineapple; crispy morning glory spicy salad with prawn and minced chicken; deep-fried marinated chicken wrapped in pandanus leaf; deep-fried shrimp cakes and steamed rice. Desserts include choices of tamarind sherbet, ice cream or mini dumplings in coconut cream. The set menu includes traditional Thai iced milk tea, Roselle juice, Bael juice, Longan juice and lemongrass juice. Priced at B1,400++ per set. 076 391 123. www.capecollection.com

DUSIT Thani Hua Hin invites all to ‘Turn back the clock’ by turning up in Thai costume from a bygone era and receive 50 percent discount from the Thai Market Night Buffet price at Ban Benjarong every Friday throughout April. 032 520 009 ext 2013. www.dusit.com/ dusitthani/huahin

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03 CONSIDERED the king of tropical fruits due to its vitamins and minerals benefits, Hilton Pattaya introduces a variety of special menus made from pineapple at Flare, Drift and Horizon throughout March and April such as the baked salmon pineapple curry sauce (B750), pineapple supreme calzone (B350), grilled bacon wrapped Hawaiian chicken served with salad and sweet & sour sauce (B350), tropical pineapple duo foie gras served with caramelised pineapple, crispy pineapple and pineapple jelly (B1,050). 038 253 000. pattaya.hilton.com

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BACK by popular demand, Cape Dara Resort Pattaya presents mango salad with fried shrimps, a perfect mixture of fresh mango, coconut milk, Thai herbs and succulently fried shrimps priced at B275++. Available every day from 11am10pm. 038 933 888. www.capedarapattaya.com

CENTARA Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin received multiple commendations from the latest Ctrip Awards Grand Final, among them the coveted titles of Best Resort 2017 and Best Service Hotel 2017. This reconfirms the hotel’s long-standing reputation for highest standards of excellence in the industry. 032 512 021. www.centarahotelsresorts. com/centaragrand/chbr


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INTERCONTINENTAL Pattaya Hotel offers great savings for a minimum stay of five consecutive nights. Guests will receive up to 25 percent off on all booking complete with complimentary breakfast at Elements restaurant, 20 percent off food and beverage in all hotel outlets and 20 percent off laundry services. 038 259 888. www.pattaya. intercontinental.com

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07 Exclusive offers at InterContinental Pattaya 08 Beef or Reef Night at The Beach Club 09 Royal Cliff’s Eggciting Funtasea Easter Wonderland 10 Unveiling the brand new Gravity Sky Bar 11 Special Luna Lanai by the sea 12 Luna La Pran presents April delicacies THE Beach Club Restaurant at Pullman Pattaya Hotel G invites all to experience a new Reef or Beef Night concept where diners can choose fine cuisine from the field or the sea. The menu includes Côte de Bœuf, premium grilled Australian prime ribs (800 g) or grilled or steamed Phuket lobster (600 g), both served with your choice of five tantalising sauces. Priced at B1,650++ per set inclusive of a bottle of white or red wine. 038 411 940-8. pullmanpattayahotelg.com

10 NOVOTEL Hua Hin Cha Am Beach Resort & Spa announce the opening of Gravity Sky Bar, a new 360-degree rooftop venue on the 24th floor of the resort. The bar is decorated by a renowned Bangkok street artist featuring unique custom design furniture and breathtaking views of the Gulf of Thailand. 032 708 300. www.novotelhuahin.com

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CELEBRATE an unforgettable Easter with the entire family on Sunday, April 8, at Panorama with fun and unique games, exciting lucky draw and special treats lined up for the whole family. The party is from 2-5pm. Admission fee is B500 per person for hotel guests and B550 per person for outside guests. Children can enjoy numerous Easter activities. 038 250 421 ext 2878. www.royalcliff.com

SHERATON Hua Hin Resort & Spa presents Luna Lanai. Prices start at B320; Luna Lanai offers an array of sea delicacies. A collection of locally produced ingredients prepared by the talented chefs highlighting the soft and sweet flavours in various cooking styles. Highlights include spicy Pomelo salad, grilled squid and deepfried sun-dried squid to name a few. 032 708 000. www.sheratonhuahin.com

12 SHERATON Hua Hin Pranburi Villas offers a vast selection of locally inspired cuisine prepared a la minute by our master chefs from carefully selected ingredients such as fresh-caught and sun-dried squid, sweet Pranburi pineapple som tam and more. 032 708 000. www.sheratonhuahinpranburi.com

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Beyond Bangkok

Beats ‘N’ Bites exclusive wine tasting experience PULLMAN Pattaya Hotel G hosted “#Beats ‘N’ Bites”, an exclusive wine tasting experience where guests experienced beautiful bouquets. Guests savoured the wine and excellent cuisine throughout the event while being entertained by House Music from DJ Paul Reed.

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Beyond Bangkok

10th Queen’s Cup Pink Polo THAI Polo Equestrian Club held the 10th Queen’s Cup Pink Polo 2018 recently to raise funds for the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer.

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Beyond Bangkok

Exclusive Pearl Hunting Trip MARATA, authentic pearl jewellery brand and Blue Voyage, a luxurious yacht service compa joined hands to organise The Exclusive Pearl Hunting Trip during which guests enjoyed an exclusive lifestyle in Phuket on 102ft super-yachts Astondoa and Catamaran.

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Beyond Bangkok

True Arena Hua Hin launches tennis academy TRUE Arena Hua Hin joined “Super Ball” Paradorn Srichaphan to launch the first True Arena - Paradorn International Tennis Academy in Thailand. The academy offers the opportunity for all young tennis enthusiasts to learn and practice tennis and develop skills to compete in world-class competitions.

Celebrating Thailand’s international sporting greats SUNDARA Sports Lounge at Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa unveiled a Wall of Fame starring some of Thailand’s most illustrious competitors in sports. The project is to honour Thai athletes with international reputations and to promote awareness of Thai and foreign athletes’ abilities.

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The bigchilli april 2018  

The BigChilli April 2018. Thailand's best-read expat magazine. Find out what's hot in Bangkok and beyond. April 2018.

The bigchilli april 2018  

The BigChilli April 2018. Thailand's best-read expat magazine. Find out what's hot in Bangkok and beyond. April 2018.