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August 2017

Contents 88 STORIES FROM THE PAST

10 NEWS STORIES

Is the Michelin guide curse real? Updates on the flights to Hua Hin and what happened to Rayong landscape?

COVER STORY

Heightened fire safety standards allow tourists to rest easier in Thai hotels.

40 FEATURE

40 After having tasted

and tried more than our weight’s worth in delicious Sunday Brunches in the city, The BigChilli has put together a list of Bangkok’s 20 best Sunday brunches.

Bangkok’s 20 best Sunday brunches

101 SOCIAL

Last month’s most exciting events in pictures

95 DIPLOMATS

CONTENTS 8 INSIGHT News, gossip, and opinions 14 THE HOT LIST 20 great things to see and do in Bangkok and beyond 20 SECRET BANGKOK A lesser-known attraction in the spotlight 48 FOOD & DRINK Restaurant deals and dining news

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

H.E. Jaime Nualart: Mexican Ambassador to Thailand introducing la Cultura de México

70 EXPAT WOMEN Shopping, advice, health tips, and top local schools 88 STORIES FROM THE PAST A famous story from years gone by 118 HUA HIN & PATTAYA News and deals to help you get the most out of your trip

Downlo our dig ad edition ital for

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Editor’s Blog A few question for Thailand’s ambitious Eastern Economic Corridor project EVIDENCE that the enormous Eastern Economic Corridor development project is getting seriously underway is clearly visible at several points east of Pattaya where the new motorway linking Bangkok to U-Tapoa airport is being built. Make no mistake, EEC is a vast undertaking costing as much as B 1.5 trillion over the next decade and will transform Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard into the next major economic zone of ASEAN. Apart from the new highway, the project will include increasing capacity at U-Tapao to accommodate five million passengers annually, as well as expanding the local sea ports of Sattahip Commercial, Map Ta Phut, and Thailand’s biggest, Laem Chabang. In addition, a special highway connecting Nakhon Ratchasima to Rayong via Laem Chabang is set to be built, along with a double-track railway from the Eastern Seaboard to Bangkok, and beyond. In addition, a deep-sea port will be developed for cruise liners. Ten industries are to be promoted, including aviation, next-generation automotive, smart electronics, eco-friendly petrochemicals and biochemicals, automation and robotics, medical hub, medical and wellness tourism, food for the future and digital industries. Investors in the EEC area will enjoy special deals on corporate income tax, personal income tax, five-year visas and land lease for 50 + 49 years. The project also has plans for three “metropolises” to be built in Rayong, Chon Buri and Chachoengsao provinces, but the industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT), a state enterprise under control of the Ministry of Industry, has not disclosed their exact location. Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Somkid Jatusripitak, has been assigned to explore a range of incentives and promotional privileges to woo investors. Many have described the project as hugely ambitious, especially with regard to some of the promised completion dates and skilled labour requirements. The double track rail link to Pattaya, for example, will be finished by 2019, according to IEAT. Some observers think this is not possible. Others have pointed out that demand for skilled and non-skilled labour in the new industries far outweighs supply. Even companies that already employ thousands of workers in the Eastern Seaboard say the shortage of middle management is so severe, they are considering employing people from Malaysia and the Philippines, and even Europe. Finally, there are some concerns over investment. The bulk will come from private sources, which will need to feel comfortable with Thailand’s political situation and its attitude towards non-Thai companies and workers before they commit one dollar to the project. Go easy on partygoers Instead of cracking down on Facebook posts showing partygoers having a good time over a few drinks, the authorities should look at a host of other negative influences on Thai society. For instance, TV ‘soaps’ that glamorise violence, disrespectful behaviour and easy sex, car and motor cyclists advertisements that suggest driving fast and aggressively is cool, and massage parlours that exploit young women. What kind of message is these sending out? Let’s not turn Thailand into a joyless place with petty restrictions on Facebook. 6

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Strip AD_Operation Smile_Feb17.pdf

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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 Saranya Choeyjanya fatcatbigchilli@gmail.com ACCOUNTING ASSISTANT Janjira Silapapairson janbigchilli@gmail.com ART & PRODUCTION Arthawit Pundrikapa, Jaran Lakkanawat PHOTOGRAPHY JL & AP CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Drew McCreadie, Judith Coulson, Maxmilian Wechsler, David Armstrong, Soel Hee Baik, Pachara Aungsusuknarumol, Suthivas Tanphaibul

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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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Insight

profile

FULL NAME: RICHARD BRUCE MOORE JR. AGE: 42 BIRTHPLACE: PORTLAND, OREGON, USA KNOWN AMONG FRIEND AS: RICHIE WORK AS: FILM DIRECTOR, CINEMATOGRAPHER, CAMERA OPERATOR SINCE: I’VE BEEN WORKING ON FILMS FULL TIME SINCE 1992 YEARS IN THAILAND: 17 LATEST PROJECT: HUGE TOP SECRET TV COMMERCIAL PROUDEST PROJECT: “WHO’S WATCHING OLIVER,” MY FIRST FEATURE FILM AS DIRECTOR. “WHO’S WATCHING OLIVER” TELLS THE STORY OF A MENTALLY UNSTABLE LONER LOST IN A LIFE FORCED UPON HIM. BY NIGHT, OLIVER AIMLESSLY WANDERS THE STREETS AND BARS ON WHAT CAN ONLY BE DESCRIBED AS A TRULY SHOCKING AND HUMILIATING KILLING SPREE. HIS ONLY SAVIOUR AND POSSIBLE WAY OUT OF A LIFE HE IS DESPERATE TO ESCAPE COMES IN THE FORM OF THE BEAUTIFUL

SOPHIA WITH HER SWEET ECCENTRICITY AND NAIVETY TO THE DANGER SHE HAS PUT HERSELF IN. FAVOURITE LOCATION IN BANGKOK: W DISTRICT HIGH POINT: READING MY FIRST EVER FILM REVIEW FROM A CRITIC! RAVE REVIEW! LOW POINT: THE LOSS OF MY BEST FRIEND... AND THE DAY I REALIZED HOW DEEPLY ONE’S HEART CAN BREAK DON’T MENTION: THAT I WORKED ON THE MOST INFAMOUS AD IN HISTORY WHAT DO YOU COLLECT: MAGICAL MEMORIES & FIXED GEAR BICYCLES LAST TIME YOU VISITED A BANGKOK PARK: A FEW MONTHS AGO I RELEASED MY DAUGHTER’S PET TURTLE INTO THE WATER AT QUEEN’S PARK BEST ADVICE EVER RECEIVED: SOMETIMES THE STRONGEST THING YOU CAN DO IS NOTHING WHAT WOULD YOU DO AS MAYOR FOR THE DAY: I WOULD ASK EVERYONE TO APPRECIATE AND CELEBRATE EACH OTHER AS INDIVIDUALS RETIREMENT: I WILL WORK UNTIL I’M DEAD! I LOVE MY JOB!

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News

AirAsia flights to Hua Hin begin in November Huge boost for the popular resort’s tourism industry via the airline’s international network ■ HUA HIN’s tourism industry is set to take off in a major way following reports that AirAsia will begin flights to the beach resort town this November, with other regional carriers from Hong Kong and Singapore launching services to the popular destination in December. Recent sightings of Boeing 737s belonging to the Malaysian-based airline landing at Hua Hin airport on

test runs confirm its plans to operate services from Kuala Lumpur to coincide with Thailand’s high season. Locals have also reported seeing 737s belonging to Nok Air landing at the same airport. However, the Thaiowned airline has yet to announce services to Hua Hin. With its international network, AirAsia is well placed to boost the number of foreign tourists to the

The BigChilli on the move!

beach resort, especially on less busy weekdays after the Saturday-Sunday crush. From its base in Kuala Lumpur, the airline currently serves 26 countries, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore US (Honolulu) and Vietnam. Hua Hin hoteliers say that AirAsia and the other carriers will have a major impact on the resort’s long term future since foreign visitors will no longer have to face a three-hour road journey from Bangkok’s two existing international airports. Although Hua Hin’s runway is capable of handling modern aircraft like the 737, some of its other facilities still have to be finalised. These include customs and immigration as well as the duty-free outlet.

Always looking ahead, The BigChilli has moved to a brand new office where we will still bring you all the latest news and the best stories from Bangkok and beyond. You can get in touch with us at the address below.

The BigChilli Co., Ltd.No. 8/2 FMA Group Bldg., 5th Floor, Room 501Convent Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel. 02 635 5085, 081 358 1814 Fax. 02 635 5086 Email: thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com Website: thebigchilli.com

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News

More massive craters blight Rayong’s landscape Carved out of rubber tree plantations, they defy explanation

■ HUGE gashes continue to appear in Rayong’s lush landscape, as evidenced by this photo, taken last month on a quiet road linking the main Sukhumvit highway to Hat Mae Phim beach. No one seems to know who sanctioned this man-made canyon - the size of a dozen football pitches and at least five storeys deep – or whether it is legal or illegal. Or whether it has some purpose. But for sure it is an ugly eyesore gouged out of land that until recently was part of a visually attractive rubber tree plantation. Like a dozen or so similar desecrations that have appeared over the years in this area, this massive hole in the earth is gradually filling up with rainwater. If this trend continues, Rayong will eventually resemble a battle field.

Will the ‘curse’ follow the Michelin guide? ■ IT is unlikely that Michelin will spring any surprises if it awards any stars to restaurants based here with the publication of its much anticipated Thailand guide. Anybody worth his salt and pepper has already read countless “best” restaurant guides over the years and knows exactly the top dozen or so. Those who do receive a star, or maybe two, will be rightly proud of their achievement. Their restaurant will have been put on the map and business will boom. But there is a downside to this prestigious seal of approval, or maybe several downsides. Some call it the Michelin “curse”. Some chefs find the spotlight simply too

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much to handle and in one famous case actually returned the star because it had become a straitjacket. Others fear to lose a star because the business could plummet. One chef feared to lose his Michelin star so badly that he took his own life. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey cried when his New York restaurant lost its two Michelin stars. A Hong Kong restaurant saw its rent double after winning a star. But let’s not get carried away. The Thailand Michelin guide will be a talking point for ages after publication. And that’s the point – it will raise international awareness of this country’s outstanding dining opportunities, and not before time.


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THE HOT LIST

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

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01 01 Shura Live in Bangkok

August 9 18th FL Zen@Central World AN English electronic pop singer and songwriter, Shura, is making her Bangkok debut on Wednesday, August 9 after her last-minute cancellation last year. Tickets priced at B990(early bird)-1,290. www.ticketmelon.com/event/shura

02 21st Thailand International Travel Fair 2017

August 10 - 13 Queen Sirikit National Convention Center IN its 21st edition, the three-day Thailand International Travel Fair 2017 will present nearly 100 exhibitors presenting the best travel

plan to Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and more with special prices and promotion. www.facebook.com/ttaatitf

03 SOUNDBOX : DNCE

August 10 Muangthai GMM Live House SOUNDBOX is back with the dance-pop hitmakers DNCE live in Bangkok for one show only on August 10, 2017! Standing tickets priced at B2,500. Meet & Greet Package priced at B4,000 (not include standing tickets). www.thaiticketmajor.com/concert/ soundbox-dnce-2017-en.html

04 Output Music Festival August 11 Thunder Dome, Muangthong Thani

AS part of his True Colors World Tour at the brand-new Output Festival, The Russian-German music producer will take over Bangkok fans this August, with his DJ friends. Tickets will still be available at the door on the day. Tickets priced at B2,700. www.facebook.com/outputfestival

05 12 Aug Half Marathon

August 12 Queen Sirikit National Convention Center JOIN the Mother’s day charity run in August 12 Half Marathon. Available are four distance choices of 1.8km, 6.2km, 10.5km and 21.1km. Starting at 5am


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from Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre. Tickets priced at B400-700 (until August 9). www.12aughalfmarathon.com

06 TOKiMONSTA

August 13 BEAM FROM Los Angeles to Bangkok, the attractive and talented DJ and producer TOKiMONSTA, the first female artist signed up with Brainfeeder record label and collaborated with many worldfamous artists like Justin Timberlake and Anderson Paak. Tickets are available at B700. www.beamclub.com

07 Psych-Out Mini Fest

August 15 Hof Art Residency Bangkok THE Psych-Out Mini Fest outdoor music festival will be joined by 10 top local bands including the likes of Tug Suk, Yena, Chladni Chandi, Abstraction XL and more. Tickets priced at B600 (until August 12). www.facebook.com/ ArchiveRecordsStore

08 Ariana Grande Dangerous Woman Tour

August 17 Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani

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THIS beautiful vocal powerhouse Ariana Grande is coming to Bangkok for one show only on August 17, 2017. The Grammy Awardnominated artist Ariana Grande is on her way to Thailand her ‘The Dangerous Women Tour.’ Tickets: B2,500-24,500 http://www.thaiticketmajor.com/ concert/ariana-grande-live-inbangkok-2017-en.html

09 Bangkok International Grand Motor Sale 2017 or BIG Motor Sale 2017 August 19-27 Bitec Bangna THE Bangkok International

Grand Motor Sale 2017 gathers all top automakers, regional and global brands alike, to showcase their latest concept models at BITEC Bangna. www.facebook.com/bigmotorsale. yanyont

10 Thunder From Down Under

August 30 - September 5 Moon Star Studio 8 AUSTRALIAN male revue famous in Las Vegas and worldwide is coming to Bangkok! The two special nights reserved for Girl’s Night Out on Sept 4 and Gay’s Night Out on Sept 5. Tickets priced B2,500-45,000.

www.ticketmelon.com/event/thunderbkk

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Insight

THE ART LOVERS’ PARADISE Aside from arts and antiques showcasing at the River City Bangkok, the modern complex also features intriguing exhibitions and events all year round as well as a variety of retail stores

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VER three decades, River City Bangkok has stunned and thrilled art connoisseurs from all over the world with its exceptional over collections, products and services under the concept of the ‘Anchor of arts and antiques’ in Southeast Asia.

River City Bangkok is also home to a plethora of selected retail stores and restaurants, cementing its position as Asia’s premier hub for the chic artisans. The boutique complex offers luxurious products including silk, jewellery, leather goods, and souvenirs along with services like bespoke tailors. The acclaimed restaurants on location also deliver mouth-watering dishes from both Thai and international cuisines. River City Bangkok. 23 Charoen Krung Soi 24, Talad Noi, Bangkok. 02 237 0077. www.rivercitybangkok.com

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Travel

Hotel of the month

The SIS Kata Offering a breath-taking view overlooking the beautiful Kata Beach, The SIS designer resort brings together the three sisters’ concept of luxurious lifestyles to reality ■ NESTLED on the hillside on Kata Beach is The SIS Kata designer resort. Officially launched in June 2017, the brand new resort is a co-creation masterpiece of the three daughters or ‘SISters’ of the Pattaravoranee family as part of their AKSARA Collection of hotels in Phuket. The resort is the realisation of their dreams, creativity, individuality and lifestyles under one single concept, ‘The SIS Kata - Stay in Style.’ Spans over 8,800 sq m (5 rai 2 ngan) offering contrasting scenery

between the greenery with the deep blue sea, this luxurious resort features 124 exquisitely designed rooms with six distinctive room types. The SIS Kata offers a perfect

seascape for the eyes to feast on. Prevalent throughout the resort is the distinctive chevron design, an integral part of the resort. Guests can start the day with the signature illy coffee shop where they can enjoy fresh-made coffee or TWG teas. Then take a dip in the infinity swimming pool and the star gazing Stella swimming pool, get lost in the unmatched views overlooking the trees, the sea and the sky on Kata Beach. Featuring an exquisite selection of fusion dishes, the ‘Twilight’ restaurant offers an array of best-loved local dishes with a twist. Enjoy afternoon strolls at the resort’s garden or take a couple of hours off to rejuvenate your body and soul at the ‘Let's Relax’ international spa. Offering a premium experience for all the senses including the unique 24-hour ‘SIS Care’ guest service. An array of daily excursions can be tailored to the guests’ desires. Also available are the game room and fitness centre, making this beautiful resort a perfect getaway vacation for the whole family. The SIS Kata Resort. 255 Kok Tanode Road, Phuket. 076 609 555. thesiskata.com

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Knowledge

SECRET

BAN GK

Each mon th, a lesser attraction in the spot-known light

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Saladaeng Barber City’s lesser known vintage barber shop By Pachara Aungsusuknarumol

HIDDEN in the middle of the concrete jungle, Saladaeng Barber, founded over 45 years ago is one of the first full-service barber shops in Bangkok. Located 100 metres away from Saladaeng BTS station, the shop features five barber chairs with three male barbers with expertise and a strong sense of service mind. Ascending the stairs to the barbershop on the second floor, news articles and columns in which the shop has been featured showcased its long history. Pictures of celebrities and TV stars having their hair cut done at the shop were posted on the walls and garnered the mirrors within the shop. Signs and pricing board were written mostly in English implying that the shop must have been popular among the expats in the area. One of the barber, Ram, added that around half of the customers are foreigners.

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Inside the shop, all furniture including chairs and mirrors 30-50 years old yet they have been kept in great condition. Saladaeng Barber welcome gentlemen, children and LGBT customers while offering a wide range of services including haircut, shampooing, shaving, ear cleaning and colouring. Haircut is priced from B200 up to B600 for colouring. Open Monday to Friday from 9.30am - 6.30pm, on Saturday from 9.30am - to 5.30pm and close on Sundays.

How to get there From BTS Sala Daeng station take exit 1, walk towards the Dusit Thani Hotel. The barber shop is located on 2nd floor above the Fay Florist. Saladaeng Barber. Silom Soi 2/1, Silom Road.


Humour

The joy of others’ pain ■ FOR most people, enjoying humour is a highly intellectual process, whereby one is delightfully tricked by the wit and genius of the comedian who uses his or her intellect to misguide us all down one road, and then, suddenly, reverse course and take us into unexpected territory wherein the punch line is revealed. Or, it is about watching people fall down. There is a guilty recess in each of our minds wherein lies the admission that watching something terrible happen to someone else is hilarious (for some, this recess is more like an open courtyard). It is somewhat embarrassing to admit, but there is something hilarious about watching other people fall down. Now, of course, unless you are a psychopath, you don’t want other people to fall down, and you probably hope that if they do, the injury they sustain is not life altering. But still, watching a skateboarder trying to skate down a staircase handrail, to have the board slip out from under his feet, and then to see him drop, one leg on each side of the rail, crushing his dignities, is on some level, unbelievably pleasant to watch. But why? There have been many studies that attempted to uncover why something that is obviously painful (and not funny to the person it happened to) is so funny. In one study, the dissonance in the brain that is caused by reconciling the danger and pain that is being witnessed with the look of confusion on the face of the victim has been linked to the laughing response that is produced. If the victim looks terrified, then usually it isn’t funny; but if they look startled as if to say, “What? My skateboard

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slipped out from under my feet? How unexpected! And I am about to land on this rail and scramble my eggs? I never anticipated this potentiality! But now, suddenly, at the moment, it has all become obvious that it was inevitable,” then it is hilarious. The way the victim reacts to his or her misfortune is definitely tied to how funny it is. Most of us have witnessed some misfortune, someone bumping their head on the sign that reads “Watch your head” causing us to laugh, only to realize that the person has really injured themselves, and the laughter immediately vanishes, only then to see the injury

By Drew McCreadie

is not that bad and that the victim is more embarrassed than injured, and the laughter immediately returns. Science seems to point to the fact that we are hardwired to find the misfortune of others enjoyable, as long as it produces the right response from the victim. They need to surprise and confuse. The joy comes from watching others confusion. And if, as in the skateboarding example, the victim has somehow set them up for the situation, it’s even funnier. We can’t help ourselves. It’s hilarious watching other people hurt themselves.


Feature

Seven decades in Thailand

By Maxmilian Wechsler

Property magnate, textile exporter and family man Narinder Sachdev recalls Bangkok during World War Two and his early days as a young businessman who loved to dance and listen to Frank Sinatra while learning his trade in the markets of Sampeng

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HOSE looking for the secret to success in the Land of Smiles would do well to study the life and times of Narinder Sachdev. This Indian-born, naturalised Thai is one of the biggest exporters of locally-made fabrics in the country and his family business ventures include real estate and operation of the 33-storey Fraser Suites serviced apartments on Sukhumvit Soi 11. During the course of our interview, Mr Sachdev showed himself to be as charming, caring and humble, as much he is prosperous. As he described his business and private life in Bangkok over the years, he also told a colourful story of how much the city and its people have changed. Mr Sachdev is devoted to his family and the memories of his grandparents and parents. “My father came to Thailand (it was known as Siam then) in 1923 from the part of India that is now Pakistan. My grandparents had four sons and one daughter. My father was number three in the family. One day when he was already grown up, one of my grandmother’s stepbrothers came to our village and asked my father if he wanted to go to Bangkok. He asked his mother and she readily agreed, so my father was the first person in the family to come to Thailand,” Mr Sachdev said. “My father started working in Bangkok as a labourer selling textiles. He did it for one year and said,

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Mr Narinder Sachdev

‘this is not my piece of cake, I can’t sell textiles’. So he quit and joined a company in Sampeng district in Chinatown area of Bangkok that was importing textiles from Japan. He looked after the company’s finances and when the bosses were short on

cash, he would borrow money from them. He had the courage and he was always friendly and willing to help people and they would help him in return. His reputation was absolutely the best. He married the daughter of one of his bosses and continued to


work with the company until 1940. In in Sampeng as a salesman, for two 1931 he invited his two brothers from or three months. Then, I joined my India to Thailand and opened a shop father’s company, starting right from for both of them. the bottom level like opening crates, “I was born in my mother’s village measuring textiles, carrying them on near Lahore in 1939. My father went my shoulders and delivering them. It to India for some work and World was very hard work. On Sundays, I War II broke out, and he got stuck even used to carry the textile samples in India. While he remained in India, while visiting my buyers in Bangkok, my mother, brother, sister and myself Nakhon Pathom and Chonburi. were in Bangkok. My uncle and two “I often went to the Sani Chateau cousins were also with us. My father nightclub near Ratchaprasong. I also returned to Bangkok on the first boat used to go to the Champagne Room that came from India in 1945, right nightclub (Chez Eve Club) at the after the war. corner of Suriwongse Road and New “During World War II, we had Road. I was earning only 1,000 or a place in Thonburi, near the 1,200 baht salary/month, so had to Wongwian Yai circle. The Japanese play cards to get the money to go to converted this circle area into a nightclubs,” Mr Sachdev said with a military camp and we had to move away from there. We then lived in a shack near the floating market. The roof used to leak when it rained. It was horrible. We stayed there for a few months and my mother said: ‘I can’t live here’, so we moved back to Wongwian Yai, where my uncle built a shelter for us. I remember Allied planes flying over and bombing the military camp. The Japanese were zeroing reflectors on them so you could see them. This was almost at the end of the war. Some examples of fabrics Mr Sachdev is exporting

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rom grade one to four, I studied at the Indian School in Bangkok called Bharat Vidyala. I further studied at the Assumption College in Bangkok from fifth to tenth grade and graduated in 1956. I used to come second or third from last in the class, but I was good in mathematics. Nobody in my family ever checked to see if I had done my homework. After six years at Assumption College, I went to India to learn English. I joined a missionary school there, St Joseph’s Academy, in Dehradun. Soon I started coming in second or third from the top in the class, which was the total opposite of my Assumption College days. I started working in Bangkok in 1958 after I left school at the age of 18. At first, I worked for a company

laugh. “Once I went to Sani Chateau nightclub with 200 baht in my pocket. I was drinking beer with one girl and told her that I didn’t have any more money. She offered to pay for me and signed the bill. Next day a man from the nightclub came to my office to collect the money. Luckily my father was not in the office and I paid the bill, and from then on I never allowed a woman to sign the bill for me. “I was fond of dancing and in 1958-59 I frequented a dance school behind the King’s, Queen’s and Grand theatres in the Wangburapa area. I liked it and I went every day. I loved to dance rock n’ roll and chacha-cha. The school and the three theatres have been gone for a long time. There are still some dancing schools in the Ratchadamnoen area, but fewer than in the 1950s.

“I was very lucky because the moment I joined the business, one person who was very knowledgeable about the Japanese textiles market suggested to my father and uncle that we should open an office in Japan, which we did. The office opened in Osaka, Japan, in 1958 and started importing fabrics from Japan, and since then we never looked back. “I went to Japan in December 1959 and stayed there for five years. I was an assistant to our partner there. I was God gifted about judging whether a particular fabric was saleable or not. “The turnaround came in 1963. We started importing one fabric from Japan to Thailand, on which we started making a handsome profit. The rest of the market never knew anything about it. We used to deliver the fabrics after they arrived from Japan, right from the port to the house of the buyer in Bangkok. We made a lot of money from this for two years. The import business continued well till 1974.

Going global We started a company, Desmond International, in 1983. Our office is on Sampeng Road. We stopped importing fabrics from Japan in 1975 and started to export fabrics made in Thailand. Today we export around the world. For example, to South Africa, Europe, United States, Peru, Guatemala, Japan, Germany, China, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and a few more markets. We also have an office in China and from there we export to the biggest work wear garment manufacturer in South Africa. We are mainly selling 100 percent cotton fabrics and poly cotton fabrics. All textiles that we export are 100 percent made in Thailand. We also do lots of high-end cotton for shirts. “I buy top-end fabrics from the best mills in Thailand. My customers never bargain with me. I work on fixed margins and I look after my customers well. If I am late, I ship by air at my expense and never let anybody point a finger at me for any reason. My integrity is more important to me than money.

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Feature

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he textiles business is like money lending. You buy cash and you sell credit. There’s no textile business where you can sell cash, but you have to buy cash. I give credit and I know that my customers will pay me back. You must have good instincts and understand the psychology of the person you are doing business with. This is so important. You cannot give credit to just anyone. I always do business with people who are recommended to me. I have got a network of agents who recommend customers to me. My business is built on relationships. All business depends on relationships,” Mr Sachdev pointed out.

Fraser Suites Sukhumvit “After my son, Rohit, graduated from New York University and returned to Thailand in 2002, I suggested he take over my textile business. I told him,

‘it is the best business and the easiest business. You have the customers, supply and finance’. He replied that he wasn’t interested and wanted to start his own business and run it his way. “My family had empty land measuring 750 talang wa (1 talang wa = 4 sq m) in Sukhumvit Soi 11 which was bought in 1992. My son suggested that we develop this land and make an apartment building. My family agreed and we started the project which later on went on to become Fraser Suites Sukhumvit. I promised Rohit that I would arrange the finances for him. He was in charge. Halfway through the project, my son suggested that we build a serviced apartment instead of the originally planned apartments for rental. I told him to give me calculations on how much return we would get and how much money he needed. He said he would need about 250 million baht more but the return would be much better. I looked through the figures and did some

research and agreed that it would be more profitable to change the project from apartments to serviced apartments. I arranged all the finances. The bank lent the money and we started construction of the building 10 years ago, in 2007. “Today Fraser Suites is up and running very well with my son in charge even today. We rent rooms by the day, month or year. It has facilities for a serviced apartment, but we run it as a hotel, as the license is for a hotel. Fraser Suites belongs to our family. It is not solely mine. I am only a shareholder. “Rohit is 42 years old and he makes his own decisions. He is not involved with my textile company Desmond International. He is running Fraser Suites, as well as its food and beverage operations. He married a Peruvian girl, went to Peru, and really liked the food. So he came back and opened a Peruvian Japanese Restaurant called ‘Above Eleven’ on the rooftop of Fraser Suites. It is full every day. He also opened ‘Charcoal’ an Indian restaurant on the 5th floor. This one is also doing well. He is also operating elsewhere an Italian restaurant, a bar, and a recently opened French restaurant.”

Changing times Mr Sachdev has seen Bangkok grow from a remote South-east Asian backwater to the tourist-filled international megalopolis it is today, and he vividly remembers each step along the way. “In the past, the whole central market in Sampeng was full of Indian merchants selling textiles, but there are hardly any Indian merchants now, while we still have three textile shops in Sampeng, he said. There may be only 10 shops left now that are still selling textiles, where as in the past every Sampeng shop was a textile shop. The reason for this being the land value going up so much that people weren’t able to afford the high rentals, and moved out of the main market to some other cheaper place. Sampeng is the most expensive real estate in Thailand. Most of the Sampeng merchants are now selling other products like fashion jewellery, stationery, toys, mobile phone accessories and gift items, but not textiles,” Mr Sachdev said.

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Personal reflections “In the old days, Indians here never wanted to invest in Thailand. They wanted to take money back to India. But nowadays no one is based in India; they are based in Thailand, so they keep their money here. Also, in the past Indians didn’t want their children to be born in Thailand because they didn’t want the boys to enlist in the military. It is completely different now. “I was born in what is now Pakistan. I don’t think there’s any difference between Pakistan and India as far as the environment is concerned, except in terms of religion. There are fanaticism and non-fanaticism. I am religious but I am not a fanatic. I go every Sunday to a Hindu temple near the Giant Swing in Chinatown. In fact, my uncle who was a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba (who believed that he is the reincarnation of Lord Shiva), initiated a boarding school in Lamnarai in Lopburi province. Even today we are supporting the school. It is one of the best schools and it’s all free. Mr Sachdev married in 1965 and he and his wife are still together. He says he has “started slowing down, while she is much stronger and healthier than I am. She does a lot of exercises and walks every day. I also walk every day. “My mother passed away in 1970. She was suffering from a brain tumour. My father had a heart attack in 1970 and passed away in 1983. “I changed my nationality from

Indian to Thai in 1969. I am now an overseas citizen of India and entitled to go there without a visa. I can buy property and invest in India, but I am not going to live there. There’s nowhere like Thailand,” said Mr Sachdev. He still speaks Japanese fluently, as well as Punjabi, Hindi and English. He can speak, read and write Thai. “Asked about his hobbies, Mr Sachdev replied: “I am a member of Rotary Club of Bangkok South and was the president of the club in 1997. I am also a member of Royal Bangkok Sports Club. I play golf. I used to play badminton, but my knees started to give me trouble so I decided to switch to golf before I damaged them further. The most important thing about golf is who you play with. You must enjoy it. I still play cards too and play rummy with my friends on Saturdays, sometimes until 3 am.

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y family is large. We are two brothers including me and three cousin brothers, all from the same generation. I have two daughters and a son and five grandchildren. I meet my family every Sunday my daughters, my son, my grandchildren, everybody gets together. My children decide whether they want to have lunch at home or go out. All my family is bonded closely together. “I work from 10 am until 4-5 pm and play golf on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Nowadays it is easy to do business because of smart phones. You can read your email on the phone or do whatever you want. I don’t know how to use a computer. Even in my office, when I receive an email, I write the reply on a piece of paper and give it to my boy, who will type it up and send it. “I love music, especially Indian music, but in the 1950s I used to like Dean Martin, Harry Belafonte, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. They were my favourites. I used to know all the top hits and the best song of the week. Now I don’t know anything about contemporary music. When I was young, I used to put on the radio and hear the top songs. Nobody listens to radio anymore. Now you have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and you can listen to any music you want.”

Words of advice “Borrowing is easy but you must have the ability to pay back. Making money is more critical than borrowing. If you can make money you can always pay it back. I have never defaulted on payments to the bank and I have never ever asked the bank to let me roll over my instalment. I always pay by the due date. “Trading business is always there. Everything depends on a calculation. You do the right calculation and you never lose money. You have to be very sensitive to be a good businessman. I am very sensitive. I can judge people. It is another of God’s gifts I would say. Usually, in my family, I always make the decisions and every decision has to unanimous. “If you want to do business, you must make sure you have a good product. Don’t compromise on quality. I always tell my son, don’t bring down the quality of your product, which in his case is hospitality and service. You will always get customers. You may make less money, but this is ok. You won’t lose a customer. “I have never used political or other influence in my business dealings. We have never wanted any favours or used connections. We have always played according to the rules, kept a low profile and we never ‘showed off’. “I will go on working as long as I can. I am not going to retire. I do my duty to the best of my abilities and I have never lost money in my life. In my textile business, we don’t have any competition. I give the best quality and the best service and the customers never leave me. “As far as personal relationships, it depends on who you know and who you meet. You have your own circle of friends. You just don’t go around and make friends with every ‘thick head’. You should make friends with people you can trust, otherwise, you don’t need them. My advice is, don’t expect anything from anyone. You will be happier. The world is changing, and in the past 40 years or so, there have been a lot of changes in Thailand. Values are different, and this applies to both sexes. “My motto is to always be happy. I never sleep with a problem. I try to find the solution before I go to sleep. If I can’t find the solution, then I put it aside, because only time can solve the problem.”

TheBigChilli

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Travel

Bloody history of the Thai city known as ‘Diamond Wall’

By David Armstrong

A sleepy riverside town in Central Thailand, Kamphaeng Phet is popular with Bangkok tourists as a stopover on their way to Chiang Mai. But as David Armstrong explains, it’s played a crucial role in battles between warring kingdoms of ancient Siam and Burmese invaders

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AMPHAENG PHET is a small and peaceful provincial capital on the Ping River, which flows south from Chiang Mai to help form the Chaophraya River. It is near the point where the river emerges from the

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hills of Tak province and spreads majestically across the soft soils of the central plains. To the west are rugged, heavily forested mountains that form a network of splendid national parks. To the east are endless fertile flatlands, where farmers grow rice,

cassava, sugar, mangoes, and tiny, bright yellow fruit called kluai khai, or egg bananas. Its main attraction is a UNESCO World Heritage historical park, which contains the ruins of a fortress, fortified walls that protected a city and more than 60 ancient temples.


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f we go back in time this sleepy little town halfway between Bangkok and Chiang Mai was once a garrison town that protected two kingdoms, a trading centre and an important centre of Buddhism that was also contributing to the early development of Thai architecture. In 1765, Kamphaeng Phet was a bustling, thriving town of perhaps 50,000 people – a substantial city in that era. Eleven years later it was in ruins and deserted – abandoned by its people. Kamphaeng Phet had been captured by a Burmese army of 20,000 men as it forced its way across Siam to form the northern arm of the pincer attack that would besiege, occupy and destroy the old capital of Ayutthaya. According to one version of Thai history, Burma’s aim in attacking Ayutthaya was to obliterate it; on the way, something similar happened to Kamphaeng Phet. The town was sacked, temples were wrecked and stripped of valuables, including statues and works of art, and men were press-ganged into the Burmese army. All records were destroyed. Now, 250 years later, there is at least one large temple in the historical park that has been given a modern name (Wat Kru Si Hong) because no one

knows what it was originally called. The name of Kamphaeng Phet appears in the sketchy written record in 1357, as a substantial city in the Sukhothai kingdom (which lasted from 1238 until 1438). It was developed as a fortified town to protect the city of Sukhothai from Burma and also from a rising rival kingdom in Ayutthaya. The name Kamphaeng Phet means diamond wall, a reference to the strength of its fortifications.

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Travel

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he original city walls were earthen but later walls built out of laterite were added. Laterite is a soft, clay-like soil, rich in iron oxide that hardens when exposed to the air. The old earthen wall buttressed the stone wall. The wall was, and is, surrounded by a moat. In modern Kamphaeng Phet, a five-kilometer road, with bicycle track, runs along the inside of the wall, which is trapezoid in shape. The area contained temples, a palace, houses, shops and army barracks. The walled city is on the eastern side of the Ping River, the fortress is on the western side. It was built during the Ayutthaya period, probably in the early 16th century. It is 84m along each side and about 3m high and had watchtowers on each corner. It also has a series of curious little alcoves, each of which had a small hole a man could squeeze through. The structure shows European influences, meaning it was built after the arrival in Ayutthaya of Portuguese traders, missionaries and mercenaries from 1511 onwards. Once Ayutthaya took over Sukhothai it engaged in on-and-off warfare with Chiang Mai and other Lanna cities. This led to Kamphaeng Phet being occupied by Chiang Mai forces in the mid-1400s. But Ayutthaya won back control and Kamphaeng Phet defeated a Chiang Mai siege a few years later. Thereafter Ayutthaya used Kamphaeng Phet as a staging post for forays to the north. Kamphaeng Phet prevailed over a Burmese army in the mid-1500s but was occupied about 10 years later when Burma laid siege to Ayutthaya. It was 20 years before Siam regained its independence and it had to fend off many Burmese attacks over the next decade. In 1595, King Naresuan the Great went on an elephant hunt – to capture, not kill, the beasts. We know

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about it because a Dutch trader went with him and wrote about it. He said the hunt took them into the wilds of Kamphaeng Phet where the king kept vast stables: these housed 3,000 war elephants. The Dutch trader also reported that the region was so infested with tigers and giant mosquitoes that Naresuan had to sleep in temples, protected by his personal guard. Their jobs were to keep an eye out for tigers and to stoke huge fires to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park was named as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991, part of a listing with the formal title of Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns – the other town being Si Satchanalai. The three towns shared extensive water supply infrastructure and were linked by a road known as Thanon Phra Ruang, after the first king of Sukhothai. They shared a common language and the new Thai alphabet, common administrative and legal systems, and the new state religion of Theravada Buddhism, introduced in the late 13th century, the reign of King Ramkhamhaeng. The three cities were a single political entity. Sukhothai was the legal, political and administrative centre, Si Satchanalai the spiritual centre and Kamphaeng Phet the military base. The three towns were responsible for pioneering achievements in Thai art and architecture, a distinctive style that UNESCO describes as masterpieces of artistic creation. Kamphaeng Phet’s role was to protect the kingdom from

intruders – notably Burma and then Ayutthaya – and to provide security for the kingdom’s trading network. The city regulated river trade which, I assume, would have meant that it collected taxes. As it controlled an important means of communication and transport, it was well-connected with other towns and traded on its own behalf. Kamphaeng Phet followed Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai in building temples and came to be recognised as an important centre of Buddhism. According to ancient chronicles two of Thailand’s most important religious icons – Phra Phuttha Sihing and the Emerald Buddha – were housed in Kamphaeng Phet in the late 14th or early 15th centuries, in the main temple in the centre of the walled city. The temple is now known as Wat Phra Kaeo, as a visiting king (either Rama IV or Rama VI, depending on which account you read) renamed the central temple area in honour of the Emerald Buddha. Wat Phra Kaeo is the biggest temple in the walled city. It is close to the old palace area and had no monastery: it was used solely for religious ceremonies. A short walk away is Wat Phra That, an attractive building that once had a colonnade lined with Buddha statues. It has a bell-shaped chedi in the Sukhothai style but it is placed in a series of receding tiers, making it taller than usual – a touch of the local architectural style. Outside the walled city is an area now known as the temples in the forest, where the ruins of some 40 ancient structures


rest on the side of a hill. They were built over the course of more than two centuries. No one knows exactly when: the temples are listed as belonging to the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. At the top of the hill is the crowning glory, Wat Chang Rop. It is adorned with elephants that look like they are supporting the structure, a popular motif in the Sukhothai era. The main chedi structure is about 35m, or 17 elephants, along with each side – 68 elephants in all.

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lephants aside, the historical park no longer has many examples of ancient religious art. The Kamphaeng Phet National Museum, however, has quite a few examples of ancient art. They include the imposing Siva statue, strangely enough, a Hindu image but the only one in the town – and a bronze standing Buddha, discovered during excavation work at Wat Kru Si Hong (the unknown temple) – still beautiful, even though it is damaged. Over the 200 or so years between the mid-16th century and the fall of Ayutthaya in 1766, Burma and Siam fought each other 11 times – on average, a war every 20 years. Kamphaeng Phet built its fortress and strengthened the defences of the walled city, with the addition of watchtowers of a more modern design. And the city bought the cannon. As a trading city, Kamphaeng Phet exported deerskins. The main market was Japan, where the skins were used to make leather bucklers that were part of the samurai uniform.

The Dutch had a monopoly on the trade and one Dutch trader estimated that in the 17th century 150,000 deerskins were exported from Siam every year. Kamphaeng Phet used some of the money earned to buy cannon from the Dutch. For decades, Siam and Burma had been fighting, on and off, for control of Burma’s southern coast and its trade. In the mid-18th century, a new Burmese dynasty aimed to cement its power over the coastal areas and spread its influence eastward. It attacked in 1759, achieving the first of its aims. In 1765, Burma decided to take out Ayutthaya, its rival and sent three armies on the march: a northern army of 20,000 men and two southern armies totalling 30,000. Combined, they made up the biggest Burmese invasion force in 200 years. The defenders outnumbered them but the Burmese were better prepared. Burma took a risk: the army marched in the rainy season, hoping to reach Ayutthaya with several months of the dry season remaining. Starting on August 23, 1765, they slogged their way south, taking out Tak and then Kamphaeng Phet by November and the end of the wet season. The Burmese came down the river to attack Kamphaeng Phet. The northern wall of the fortress and the two northern watchtowers, facing the river, are no more. A large slice of the southern city wall, again closest to the river, is also missing. By December, the Burmese had taken Sukhothai and Phitsanulok (which had been regarded as an unofficial northern capital). On January 20, 1766, they

reached the outer areas of Ayutthaya and the siege began. After 14 months Burma captured, plundered and sacked the capital, reducing one of the world’s grand cities to ashes. Burma, however, was forced to withdraw its forces before the end of the year, largely because it faced a war to its north with China. Burma was to attack Siam again in 1775 and 1776 but the Siamese forces were more effective and defeated their old enemy. A description in the Kamphaeng Phet National Museum says Burma attacked the city in each of those years but both assaults were easily repelled. The note goes on to say, however, that Kamphaeng Phet had been used as a battlefield many times. “As a result,” it says, “the city was destroyed by ongoing wars, resulting in the abandonment of the city.” Kamphaeng Phet was not alone in being destroyed. As fighting continued over the years, Chiang Mai was abandoned at one point, as was Phitsanulok and other northern cities. To the south, Nakhon Si Thammarat suffered the same fate In today’s Kamphaeng Phet, the historical park is a beautiful, peaceful parkland, with big trees offering ample shade for visitors. It is not as grand as Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai; it shows the effects of a harder, grittier history. And it has a message: it is a living museum, a monument to the best and the worst in human endeavours, of devotion to a spiritual life, to higher values that strive for the good and reject the bad, of creativity and ingenuity. But also of the futility of war.

TheBigChilli

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Travel

Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum Remembering a terrible human sacrifice By Pachara Aungsusuknarumol

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EDICATED to the Allied prisoners of war (POW) and Asian labourers, the Hellfire Pass Museum in Kanchanaburi was officially opened in 1996 to commemorate the suffering and sacrifices on the Burma-Thailand railway during WW II. The memorial museum provides important educational information and is a moving tribute to those POW and Asians who suffered and died during the construction of the railway from 1942-1943. On 7th December 1941, the Pacific War began with the Japanese air strike on Pearl Harbor with no warning. In the devastating strike, hundreds of American aircraft were destroyed, 18 ships sunk and more than 2,400 Americans killed. In addition to Hawaii, the first wave of Japanese attacks included Malaya, Hong Kong

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and the Philippines. By mid-1942, Japanese forces were combating the British forces in Burma with the ultimate goal of reaching India. In order to transfer resources and supplies to Burma, the Japanese decided to build a 415 km-long railway through the jungle and mountains instead of shipping through the vulnerable sea-lanes. The railway construction started in Thailand at Ban Pong in Ratchaburi Province and was to reach Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar. With the aim to complete the railway in 14 months, the Japanese used forced labour, gathering more than 250,000 Asians and over 60,000 Australian, British, Dutch and American POW to work on the line. Prisoners and the workforce were transferred from Singapore, Java and Sumatra to Burma and Thailand in extreme conditions.


Strip AD_Big Tom_Aug17.pdf

The railway construction began in October 1942 from both ends and the two sides were finally linked in Konkoita, in Sangkhla Buri district of Kanchanaburi on 16th October 1943. Throughout the building of the railway, food supplies were totally inadequate and thousands died from malnutrition and starvation. Workers and prisoners also suffered from the disease, particularly malaria, while drug and medical supplies were scarce. For the construction, little modern equipment was available. Workers and prisoners used shovels to break soil and rock. Cutting through the rocks was achieved through drills and in some cases, the workers had to resort to bare hands. The bridges along the railway were built using timber from the surrounding jungle. The most difficult part of the railway was the Konyu Cutting, which the workers called “Hellfire Pass�. At this spot, the workforce had to cut through the middle of a mountain to construct a path for the railway. Hellfire Pass alone was to claim thousands of lives among the workers and POW. The entire construction of the railway took a terrible toll with approximately 16,000 Allied soldiers dying and an estimated 85,000 Asian civilians. Today, the stories of the death railway and the sacrifices of workers and the POW are displayed at the Hellfire Pass Museum in Kanchanaburi on the Sai Yok-Thong Pha Phum Road. The historic cutting through the mountain stands as a symbol of the death railway and is something future generations can

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learn from concerning the horrors of war. The museum is open daily from 9am-4pm with no admission fees. The well-designed museum provides an audio tour in English, Japanese, Dutch and Thai. It creates an excellent understanding and feeling for the place, both inside the museum and along the walkway down to the Hellfire Pass. The museum, which is under Australian management, was built by the Office of Australian War Graves in a joint venture by the Australian government and the Royal Thai Armed Forces. Thanks to the dedicated work of the Australian government, Hellfire Pass Museum has been maintained in excellent condition for nearly two decades, providing information in a visitor-friendly style. The museum is ranked as the fi fth best museum in Asia and was named first in Thailand by TripAdvisor.

TheBigChilli

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Insight

Spartan Race Testing of the brain and the brawn

Crawl, Monkey Bars and Dunk Wall. Spartan Kids is a 2km race with several obstacles for participants under the age of 14. Young Spartans can learn about teamwork while getting muddy and having fun. What are the prizes for finishers? All Spartan Sprint and Spartan Kids racers receive a Finisher Tee and a medal upon completing the race. In addition, Elite winners will stand a chance to win cash prizes and brand sponsorships. All participants also stand a chance to win a pair of flight tickets with accommodation to compete at the APAC Championships in Perth, Australia in November.

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PARTAN Race is the world’s best obstacle course race with over 240 races in 25 countries around the world participating this year. Spartan Race is obviously not your everyday running race. Participants of the Spartan Race must be expected to run, climb, crawl, push, pull, and throw whether it’s through walls, hills, trees, mud, barbed wires and other fun and challenging obstacles. The BigChilli has the opportunity to talk to Pranai Phornprapha, the Managing Director of Exceed Sports and Entertainment Thailand about the first Spartan Race in Thailand. What is Spartan Race? Spartan Race is the world’s best obstacle race with over one million participants and 200 events in over 30 countries in 2017. Spartan Race is blazing trails in obstacle racing – one of the fastest growing participant sports in the world. Spartan Race is not just an event, it is a lifestyle and mindset as much as it is a sport. It is a way of life that can be applied to adults and kids of all fitness levels. By changing the way we think, train, eat and live, Spartans emerge

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stronger both physically and mentally and have a more positive outlook on life. When and where will it be organised in Thailand? The race will debut at Siam Country Club in Chon Buri on September 9, 2017. Why did Exceed Sports and Entertainment bring in this race? Obstacle course races are growing in popularity globally because of its unique format. We see an increasing appetite for health and fitness events in Thailand and we are very excited to launch Spartan Race here and bring a world-class sports experience to Thai people. We are very encouraged by the strong response from the community in Thailand so far. How many races do we have for the inaugural event? Spartan Race will launch two race formats in Thailand for its first edition – Spartan Sprint and Spartan Kids. Participants for the Spartan Sprint can expect an exhilarating 5+km race featuring 20+ signature Spartan obstacles including the Hercules Hoist, Spear Throw, Barbed Wire

How should people prepare for the Spartan Race? As part of the Spartan Race Thailand series, we work with selected gym partners around Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai to host free workouts for interested and registered Spartans to train for the race. Small group community workouts for 30 to 50 people are held weekly while mass workouts of up to 100 participants are held every month. Participants learn essential skills, meet fellow racers and learn about teamwork. For the latest event updates, schedule and locations of community workouts, please visit facebook.com/ spartanracethailand What are the ticket prices and how can people join the race? Tickets for Spartan Sprint start from B1,650 while tickets for Spartan Kids are B500. Registration is at www.spartanrace.co.th


Expat Sport

OPTIMIST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2017

THE Optimist World Championship 2017 ended successfully with 281 young sailors from 62 countries contributing to making the event a resounding international success. Marco Gradoni of Italia was named World Champion 2017. Team USA was crowned Best Nation and Best Team Racing champions. Malaysia’s Muhammad Fauzi Bin Kaman Shah won silver in the individual series, a step up from his bronze last year. Costa Rica’s Mic Sig Kos Mohr, who spent months training in Thailand, won bronze. While Thai sailors Panwa Boonnak and Jedtavee Yongyuennarm finished 10th and 13th overall. Thomas Whitcraft, President of the Optimist World Championship 2017 Thailand, said, “I wish to express my gratitude for the dedication and great support shown by everyone involved. Thailand has hosted a truly memorable programme, as befits its reputation as one of the world’s great sailing nations. Our hope is that this competition will inspire young sailors from all countries and all backgrounds to continue with sailing, and raise their games to one day compete in the Olympic competition.” The 2017 Optimist World Championship is organised by the Royal Varuna Yacht Club with the endorsement of the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand and the Junior Sailing Squadron of Thailand under the International Optimist Dinghy Association. It is supported by strategic partners including Pattaya City, the Sports Authority of Thailand and the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau. Co-sponsors include The Pizza Company, Apollo (Thailand), Thai Airways, and True Corporation. For more information, visit www.varuna.org

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www.canterbury.co.th

Store Location: - Emporium - Emquartier - Central World - Mega Bang Na - Victory Monument

2nd Floor Glass Quartier, 2nd Floor Supersports Go Sports Phyathai Building


Expat Sport

2017 CAPE PANWA HOTEL PHUKET RACEWEEK KICKED off the 2017/18 AYGP season, the line-up of monohulls and multihulls for this year’s award-winning Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek is impressive with a number of newcomers from around the world. The multihull fleet was considered the biggest ever with a packed one-design Pulse 600 class, up to seven of the super-fast Firefly sports catamarans with crews from UK, Germany, Australia, Japan and Thailand, and an impressive Multihull Racing class including no less than seven Stealth designs from the Asia Catamarans yard. Taking on the Stealth cats is the Seacart trimaran Thor, the Formula 40 trimaran Adrenalin and the 43-foot trimaran Tantrum Too, skippered by Robert van Paridon. With the multihull fleet in the region growing, organisers have introduced a Multihull Cruising class for the first time this year. “The fleet already looks exciting and we are still taking entries. As awareness of the event continues to grow overseas, and word of what a great place Phuket is to sail and the exceptional service provided by host venue of Cape Panwa Hotel spreads, sailors from all corners of the world are putting Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek on their must-do list of regattas in Asia,” commented Mr Byron Jones, Managing Director of organisers Media Business Services Co. Ltd., adding “We expect about 40 boats on the start-line on race day.” This year, more than 500 sailors from over 25 countries competed at the 14th Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek hosted at Cape Panwa Hotel. www.phuketraceweek.com

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Parade of culinary masters at SO Amazing Chefs 2017 Six days of outstanding cuisine at SO Sofitel

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WELVE of the world’s leading chefs, who together represent 12 Michelin stars, will headline the 6th annual So Amazing Chefs 2017 to be held at the SO Sofitel Bangkok from Tuesday, September 26 to Sunday, October 1st, 2017. They will be joined by six culinary masters for six days of remarkable dining opportunities, including themed degustation dinners, private chefs’ tables, a weekend brunch, cooking classes, a cheese with live music evening, oyster feast and a hiso ladies night. The culinary masters include a Spice Master (Didier Corlou), Master Chocolatier (Stéphane Bonnat), two Cheese Master brothers (Patrice & Philippe

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Marchand), a Master Oyster Shucker (Jacques Cocollos) – plus a Master Sommelier (Gilles Faelens). New gastronomy professionals joining the SO Amazing Chefs roster this year are Jacques Cocollos, owner of a French oyster farm,Nicolas Isnard, chef-owner of L’Auberge de la Charme, Prenois, France (1* Michelin), René van Empelen of Amsterdam-based Van Empelen Catering, and Sakal Phoeung of the much acclaimed Le Corto in Saigon. Returning chefs and experts include Alain Caron (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Didier Corlou (Hanoi, Vietnam),Gilles Faelens (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Her vé Rodriguez (Paris, France), Jacques Pourcel (Montpellier, France), Jean-Baptiste Natali (Colombey-les- Deux-Églises,

France), Joost Bijster (Bangkok, Thailand), Laurent Peugeot (Burgundy, France), Michael Dyllong (Dortmund, Germany), Patrice & Philippe Marchand (Nancy, France), Patrick Jeffroy (Brittany, France), Paul Smart (Bangkok, Thailand),Stéphane Bonnat (Voiron, France), and Thierr y Drapeau (Saint-Sulpicele-Verdon, France). A highlight is the Culinary Showdown charity competition involving the chefs and gala dinner on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, with proceeds going towards the CCF Foundation under The Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. For more information and reservations, please call 02 6240000 or email H6835-FB3@sofitel.com


BANGKOK’S 20 BEST SUNDAY BRUNCHES

FOR the past couple of months, The BigChilli has tasted and tried more than our weight’s worth in fresh seafood on ice and grilled seafood, sizzling Foie Gras, an array of succulent a la minute char-grilled meat, uncountable amount of imported rich cheeses, and oh so much more. We finally put together a cumulative list of Bangkok’s 20 best Sunday brunches tasted and tried by yours truly for you.

By Morgan Thanarojpradit

Ultimate Sunday Brun ch Renaissance Bangkok at

STAR T your gastron omic journey with fi ve dif ferent styles of de licious Boston Lobs ter dishes followed by Grilled lobster with garlicparsley butter, a fre sh ar ray of cr ustacea n specialities include Alaskan king crab, Australian black mussels, Fin de Claire and Irish oysters. Next, comes the pa n-fried Foie Gras an d Japanese sushi and sashimi, roasted su ck ling pig, dim sum and be st-loved Cantonese dishes. Conclude the delec table meal with the main course of grilled an d roasted specialitie s like Australian prime rib or whole salmon. Priced at B2,400++ per person inclusive of soft drinks and no n-alcoholic beverag es. Available from 12-3p m. Flavors at Renaissan ce Bangkok Ratchap 02 125 5010. renaissan rasong Hotel. cebangkok.com

kok Sukhumvit g n a B l te fi o S !, à il Vo e Clicquot

Veuv the Magnifique umvit. EXPERIENCE Bangkok Sukh l te fi So !, ila Vo at ch un br in Sunday uce includ g ion of fine prod at in lm d cu a g Offerin ed with garlic an ue lobster serv bl an d di an , na to Ca ot d ris bake er tr uf fle e, Black summ uc sa r tte bu i . ill ch le dishes ar ray of delectab , an exceptional drinks and juices ft so ith net w d an , ils ta Priced at B2,200 ck co and Chandon, wines B3,750 net with ot Champagne, qu ic Cl e uv Ve g in ud cl in t ne B4,750 from 12-3pm. tails. Available wines and cock . vit. 02 126 9999 um

kok Sukh t at Sofitel Bang Voilà! restauran umvit sofitel.com/sukh

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Millenium Hilton Bangkok STARTING off with the private cheese room, the first of its kind in Bangkok and considered as one of the best in Asia, sample the widest variety of international cheeses served with freshly baked bread and condiments. Followed by sumptuous roasted lamb loin, eggplant and thyme emulsion, roast prime rib, prime beef tartar, veal Orloff, truffle fondue and Italian soubise. Asian selections include Thai favourites like som tum, miang kum, cha-plu leaves and hor-mok prawns. An array of juices and soft drinks included. Priced at B2,200 per person. Reservation recommended. Available from 12-3pm. Flow restaurant, Millenium Hilton Bangkok. 02 442 2000. www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/thailand/millenniumhilton-bangkok-BKKHITW/index.html

Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok

s Brasserie VENUE’s Twenty-Seven Bite land to guests brings a gastronomic wonder ing presents an din ay every Sundays. This all-d king stations coo live h international feast wit und the world aro from es ser ving the best dish hly grilled imported including seafood on ice, fres anese sushi and meats, freshly prepared Jap Hearty dishes sashimi and Indian cur ries. day roast, BBQ fish, include the slow-braised Sun sure to delight all lobsters and king prawns are e highlights are tru the seafood lovers. Perhaps the younger for ent inm the extensive enterta t, and childpain face es, gam guests with video friendly food options. of free flow Priced at B1,890++ inclusive fee and B2,290++ soft drinks, juices, tea and cof rkling wine, house inclusive of the above and spa le from 12-3pm. ilab wines and local beers. Ava ie at Radisson Blu Plaza Twenty-Seven Bites Brasser bkk.com Bangkok. 02 302 3333. venues

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Amaya at Amari W atergate Bangko k AMAY

A Food Gallery of fers a gastrono around the wor mic delights fro ld. Indulge in th m e fresh seafood including Alaska on ice n king crab, oy sters, prawns an Follow by the su d lobsters. cculent a la min ute Italian’s favo enjoy the sumpt urites. Next, uous grilled mea ts, French Foie more. Complet Gras and e the delightful meal at the dess serving both Th er t stations ai and internatio nal favourites. Prices star ting at B1,800++ per person for food of beverage pack not inclusive ages. Available from 12-3.30pm . Am

aya Food Ga com/watergate llery at Amari Watergate Bang /amaya-food-gall kok. 02 653 9000 . amari. ery.aspx


Compass SkyView

PRIME urban gr ill restaurant is featuring a hear ty haul of ocean-fresh favo urites. Available choice s include live se afood station where ea ch dish is made a la minute to the gu ests’ preference s while seafood on ice presents equally ric h specimens. Fres hly shucked Fr ench oysters, blue cr ab, prawns, blue mussels and clams awai t. Choose from an ar ray of Italian and Ch inese favourites and not to mention the decadent de sser ts which include Fr ench and Thai pastries, chocolate founta in fondue and ic e creams. Priced at B2,200 per person. Avai lable from 11.45am-3 pm. PRIME restauran 011 1111. compat, Compass SkyView Hotel. 02 ssskyviewhotel.c om

Champagne Sunday Brunch at Anantara Siam Bangkok

n of international BOASTING a large selectio day Brunch at Anantara dishes, the Champagne Sun ay of seafood on ice, Siam Bangkok offers an arr cuts and cheeses, shucked oysters, bread, cold Chinese, Thai, and se, ane salad bar, Mexican, Jap t offers freshly made ran tau res Indian dishes. Every desser ts, on offer are dishes upon request. As for chocolate cakes, fruit delectable pies, cheesecakes, , fresh fruits, and choices tarts, soufflé, crepe suzette of ice cream. inclusive of free Priced at B2,999++ per person 0am-3pm. 11.3 from le flow champagne. Availab a Siam Bangkok Hotel. 155 Madison restaurant, Anantar . 866 Rajadamri Road. 02-126-8 siam-bangkok.anantara.com

Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit

WON the Best Steakhouse 2016 award, The District Grill Room & Bar at Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit offers great promises for the Sunday Brunch. Featuring a set of a la carte dishes on the menu include Grilled Canadian lobsters, New Zealand lamb chops, seared Hokkaido scallops and more. The sumptuous selection of seafood on ice includes Normandy and Fin de Clair oysters, Alaskan king crab, Norwegian salmon and caviar are also on offer. The variety of chees es is arranged in a wine room is very impressive while the live cooking stations offer visual culinary treats. Priced at B2,500 net per person or B3,000 net per person for a free flow premium beverage packa ge including Prosecco, selection of wines and beers , spirits and signature cocktails. Available from 11.30 am – 3pm. The District Grill Room & Bar, Bangkok Marrio tt Hotel Sukhumvit. 02 797 0000. bangkokmarriott.com

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Atelier at Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit

elf SUNDAYS will never be the same. Indulge yours truly a for ies famil and s friend bring to and make sure n, statio ng carvi a ring Featu t. buffe h brunc l sensationa n statio n Italia Chinese station, Indian with curries and kinds ne fi 15 of tion with pasta with sauces. Enjoy a selec bar and of cheese and a variety of bread, garden salad fountain, late choco a e includ soups of the day. Desserts . more and fruits fresh ts, crepe Suzette, Thai swee flow free of ive inclus n perso per 9++ Priced at B1,89 m. 12-3p from able Avail soft drinks. mvit. 02 204

e Sukhu Atelier restaurant at Pullman Bangkok Grand 4161. pullmanbangkokgrandesukhumvit.com

side kok MenamofRthiveer g an B za la P ao a Ch ad am w R ramic vie a magnificent pano

nday br unch at EXPERIENCE g a delectable Su in joy en m ile wh r Phraya Rive ium selections fro hts include prem lig gh Hi . 72 e@ ac The Terr ailand. dia, China and Th n Japan, Europe, In B550++ for childre + per person and 0+ ,10 B1 at . d m ice Pr m 11.30am-3p s old. Available fro between 5-12 year erside. 02 688 1000 ngkok Menam Riv Ramada Plaza Ba amriverside.com ramadaplazamen

ext 80118.

Anantara Riverside Dining in the Polynesian atmosphere, the Sunday Brunch here offers a different feel right on the banks of Chao Phraya River. Presented guests with an array of rich imported cheese and a selection of bread, fresh iced and grilled seafood situated opposite from a la minute Japanese delights. The salad station has a friendly staff on hand to take your orders. Meat lovers can pick and choose from the grilling stations outside with a selection of delicious beef, pork and chicken grilled to your preference. While the Tiki Bar offers island cocktails in specialised glasses signature of the Trader Vic’s restaurant. Priced at B1,990++per person inclusive of soft drinks, juices and signature cocktails, B2,990++ per person inclusive of all the above plus house wines, beers, and sparkling wines, B950++ per child aged between 5-12 years old. Available from 11.30am-3pm. Trader Vic’s restaurant, Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort. 02 476 0022 ext 1416. bangkokriverdining.com

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Chatuchak Cafe THIS cool and calm 180 -seats cof fee shop and dining venue offers much more than the eyes can see. On offer for Sunday Br unch inc lude fresh and crisp vegetables and sal ads, an array of aromatic cheeses and bre ad to choose from. Charcuteries inc lude impor ted premium ham and salam i. While the fresh ice seafood and gri lled seafood received the most attent ion from guests, the a la minute grilling station offering succulent meat is quite popular as well. Also available are readymade selection of Thai and international favourites. Priced at B1,400++ per person, Sunday brunch is availab le from 11.30am-3pm. Chatuchak Café at Cen tara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok. ext 4101, 4102. centaraho02 541 1234  telsresorts.com/cglb

DoubleTree by Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok ton DOUBLETREE by Hil ngs its bri k ko Sukhumvit Bang G ‘OM new the A-game with te feast olu abs An . ch’ un Sunday Br lovers. for prawns and shrimps rts the This Sunday Br unch spo ail ckt city’s tallest ‘Shrimp Co ions. ect sel Tower’ with fabulous ts an sen pre t The long restauran lude inc ion ect sel of amazing array d ste roa ak, ste f bee baked pasta, and les od no s, he dis duck, fish soups, and BBQ. person Priced at B1,150 net per en ldr chi s, inclusive of soft drink for eat old rs aged less than 12 yea . 3pm 12m free. Available fro bleTree by Dee Lite restaurant, Dou k. Hilton Sukhumvit Bangko 02 649 6666. ubletree.com. sukhumvitbangkok.do

Novotel Bangkok on Siam

Square

THE Square at No votel Bangkok on Siam Square is serving an amaz ing ar ray of food and drinks on Sundays. Br unch includes a full seafo od station featuring crabs, pr awns, oysters and m ussels on ice or grilled. High lights include salm on gravlax, Foie Gras, pasta, pizza, and a varie ty of sumptuous freshly grilled be ats cooked to your preference. Desser ts include chocolate fountai n fon due, crepe and ice cream sta tion. Enjoy free fl ow beverages include soft drinks , fruit juices, wine , local beers and cocktails. Priced at B1,350+ + per person. Child ren under 5 years old dine fo r free and half pr ice for children between 6-11 year s old. Available fro m 12-3.30pm.

The Square at No 8888 ext The Squavotel Bangkok on Siam Square. 02 209 re. novotelbkk.com

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Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok at MAKE Sundays memorable again gkok. Ban el Hot -La ngri Sha Next2 Café at g bein ts ligh high le ctab dele Among the de inclu et buff ch brun the at offered n Foie Gras, Australian and Canadia and ch lobster on ice and grilled, Fren on Japanese oysters. The Japanese stati and i sush h fres of offers a wide selection rs offe on stati ts mea sashimi while the sumptuous 120 grain-fed Australian y of prime rib. Available also are an arra ding inclu ons stati l iona rnat inte t decaden s. Indian, Italian and Thai favourite and Desserts include an array of Thai olate choc of international selections fountain fondue, cakes, mango and ms. sticky rice and homemade ice crea on pers per net 00 B2,2 Priced at inclusive of soft drinks. Available from 12-3pm. kok. Next2 Café at Shangri-La Hotel Bang gkok /ban .com gri-la shan . 9952 236 02

Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok RANG Mahal rooftop Indian restaura nt brings guests Sunday delights with an authentic Indian kebabs, curries and desserts. While drinking in the brea th-taking views of Bangkok city skyline amid st live Indian music, Rang Mahal offers deca dent Sunday brunch menu include dish es like Paneer and pineapple Chaat – grill ed cottage cheese cubes and pineapple sliced tempered with chaat masala and red chilli pow der or Shakarkandi Ki Chaat – sweet pota toes flavoured with chutney and tamarin d sauce, Tawa Seekh Kebab – mutton minced kebab cooked with onion and tomato mas ala, and Murgh Khurchan – shredded chicken cooked with onion and tomato grav y, flavoured with green cardamom and more. Priced at B990 net per person. Ava ilable from 11am – 2.30pm. Rang Mahal Indian restaurant, Rem brandt Hotel Bangkok. 02 261 7100 ext Rang Mahal. rembrandtbkk.com

Marriott Marquis

en’s Park’s Goji Kitchen + Bar BANGKOK Mar riott Marquis Que Sunday Brunches in town on presents one of the most impressive res multiple live cooking stations Sukhumvit Soi 22. The line-up featu are for Spanish suckling pig, with a la minute dishes to offer. Prep king crab and lobsters and prime tomahawk beef, fresh Alaskan cured meats. Selections of Asian an array of decadent cheeses and and sashimi, xiao long bao steamed i favourites include Japanese sush noodles, curr y, som tam and buns while Thai favourites include Thai and Western choices like more. Desserts offer selections of , tiramisu and fresh fruits. mango with sticky rice, apple pies on with a choice of free Prices star t from B1,800++ per pers and B950++. Reservation is flow beverages from B99++, B499++ 5am-2.30pm. recommended. Available from 11.4 iott Goji Kitchen + Bar at Bangkok Marr. 5999 059 02 . Park n’s Quee uis Marq bangkokmarriottmarquis.com

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The Pavilion, Dusit Thani Bangkok PRESENTING a sumptuous array of mouth-watering seafood offering six different kinds of freshly shucked oysters, hearty roasts straight from carving station, delightful choices of desserts accompanied by a gourmet iced tea bar and wine buffet featuring more than six different premium labels, Sunday Brunch at The Pavilion, Dusit Thani Bangkok is one that will not disappoint. Priced at B1,990++ per person with B500++ per person for wine buffet package, children under 12 years old dine for free. Available from 12-3pm. The Pavilion, Dusit Thani Bangkok. 02 200 9000 ext 2345. Dusit.com/dtbk

VIU at the St Regis Bangkok

DESIGNED for those who like an interesting choice of local and inte rnational dishes plus the benefit of waiter serv ice, the Sunday Brunch at VIU really tick s the boxes. That said, you have to serve yourself from the star ters and sala ds, but then sit back and relax while choo sing your favourite dishes (as many as you like) from the Grill, Thai Kitchen and Western Kitchen. Do try the Grilled Boston Lobster, or the Lamb Cutl et with Pesto Puree, or the Barbecue Pork Ribs. Also recommended are the Fettucin e Beef Bolognese, Pan Fried Foie Gras and for something really different, the Wag yu Beef Massaman. The restaurant has a Prem ium Selection, including the dreamy Cav iar Omelet, which is charged separate ly. The quality of the food, like the service and atmosphere, is first class. Brunch with non-alcoholic beverage B 2,700++, inclusive all beverages and unlimited Veuve Cliquot Brut B 4,90 0++. Available from 12.30-3.30pm.

Centara Grand CentralWorld - Uno Mas

g Champagne Brunch SPOIL your loved ones with a truly outstandin alWorld. On offer at Uno Mas restaurant, Centara Grand at Centr including gigantic include an impressive amount of seafood on ice sh tapas, Foie Spani r, lobsters and King crabs, smoked fish, cavia beef with cured , paste e Gras terrine with Spanish figs and quinc ette with omel sh Spani tuous sump Argentinean tenderloin carpaccio, on. goes list the and , piquillo pepper and aioli mayo elier’s selection Priced at B3,555++ per person inclusive of somm unlimited G.H. Mumm of international drinks and Champagne with first Sunday of the No. 1 Pink Champagne. Available only every month from 11.30am-2.30pm. ok Convention Centre at Uno Mas restaurant, Centara Grand and Bangk m kok.co sbang noma u 6255. 100 02 . lWorld Centra

VIU at The St Regis Bangkok. 02 207 7777. Stregisbangkok.com/fb_viu

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Food& Drink Bangkok’s hottest dining deals and news

Red Sky’s best tasting menu Bon Appetit at Plaza Athénée Bangkok AVAILABLE NOW AT REFLEXIONS RESTAURANT PLAZA Athénée Bangkok, a Royal Méridien Bangkok Hotel’s signature restaurant, The Reflexions offers the new set lunch menu with an option of French cheeses and more. Prices starting from B999++ per person available on Tuesday to Saturday from 12-2pm. 02 650 8800. lemeridien.com/ plazaatheneebangkok

THROUGH AUGUST 31 AT RED SKY RESTAURANT ENJOYING a panoramic view of the Bangkok landscape at Red Sky restaurant on the 55th floor of Centara Grand at CentralWorld and indulge yourself with delicious set menu plus fine champagne and wines from around the world. Priced at B2,555++ per person, available from today until the end of August 2017. 021 006 255. centarahotelsresorts.com/ centaragrand/cgcw

Let’s get tipsy in the sky AVAILABLE NOW AT VANILLA SKY VANILLA Sky rooftop bar brings more innovative beverage offerings from the team of talented mixologists to all guests. Also available every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights are live DJs where guests can dance the night away to the best-loved tunes brought together by the international and local DJs line up. 02 011 1111. compassskyviewhotel.com

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New executive chef at the Renaissance Bangkok Fancy Seafood AVAILABLE NOW AT FLOW Flow, Millenium Hilton Bangkok hotel will make your day extra fancy with the new ‘Seafood Buffet Friday.’ Priced at B1,800 per person inclusive of free flow wine. Children age 6 to 11 get 50% discount. 02 442 2000. 3.hilton.com

AVAILABLE NOW AT RENAISSANCE HOTEL BANGKOK The Renaissance Bangkok proudly presented its new executive chef, Matthias Mittnacht. Working in Vietnam for one and a half year, chef Matthias has finally returned to Thailand for the second time with broader experiences in the taste of Asia. He is overlooking five outlets all through the Renaissance Hotel Bangkok. Specialised in fusion food, Chef Matthias has a preference in Asian and Mediterranean dishes with the major concepts of ‘Small, funky, sexy and vibrant.’ 02 125 5000. renaissance-hotels.marriott.com

It’s all about taste THROUGH SEPTEMBER 31 AT SELECTED BRANCH RECENTLY launched Thai and international menus, ibis Erawan Thailand hotels are now ready to serve their newly created dishes at popular TASTE restaurants in eight ibis properties. Chef’s recommendations include cobb salad with crispy chopped bacon, diced red onion, tomatoes, boiled egg, grilled chicken breast, zucchini and a blue cheese dressing. 20% off à la carte dining and 10% off beverages available from now until the end of September. ibis.com/Thailand

The amazing Sunday Brunch The World AVAILBLE NOW AT THE WORLD RESTAURANT SAVOURING the amazing Sunday brunch with the whole family at The World restaurant, Centara Grand at CentralWorld, available from 11.30am - 3pm. Priced at B1,890++ per person and served with our sommelier’s wine selection. Children aged 4 to 11 get a 50% discount and free for children under 4 years old. 021 006 255. centarahotelsresorts.com/ centaragrand/cgcw

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Scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus

A dose of culture at Pirate Chambre ENJOY a dose of culture with signature menus at the Pirate Chambre Local Tattoria paired with premium wines from Bordeaux, France and live pop-opera performance by Fivera band for the price of B4,500 or B3,500 for three or more guests throughout the month of August.

Macanese Culinary Specialties DEAN & DELUCA (Thailand) – the iconic gourmet food and beverage brand from New York and the Macao Government Tourism Office teamed up to introduce the authentic Macanese dishes from Macao. A series of delicious Macanese dishes is available from July to October 2017 at selected DEAN & DELUCA stores including DEAN & DELUCA MahaNakhon CUBE, Central Embassy, Emquartier, The Crystal and Bluport Hua Hin.

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Scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus

Pathumwan Monday The Siam@Siam Design Hotel Bangkok team presented ‘Pathumwan Monday’ an all-new Lunch Buffet concept at the all-day dining Party House One. Every Monday, Party House One is transformed into a vibrant space with over 45 exciting Creative Street Food menus. The buffet is available from 11:30am - 2:30pm.

Guest chef at Uno Mas UNO MAS Spanish restaurant at Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld presents Joni Valero, guest chef of Coquo, Malaysia under the theme ‘Eat, Drink, Think Spain.’

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New pancake and salad menus THE Coffee Club All-Day Café introduced its new pancake and salad menus include three new pancake recipes such as Nutella with Fresh Berry, Blueberry Crumble and Salted Caramel Banana & Cinnamon Ricotta. The three protein-rich salads include Salmon cauliflower fennel, Asian chicken slaw and Grilled Chicken with Quinoa. Explore an array of tastes from the Coffee Club’s new pancake and salad menus at all branches of the café.


Desirable Dish Nutella Pancake with Fresh Berry Nutella-covered pancake with sweet and sour mixed berries sauce and fresh fruits

The crunch The berries sauce

Sprinkled with crushed pistachio

Homemade sweet and sour mixed-berries sauce

Fresh pancakes The spread

Warm pancakes freshly made from the pan

Nutella or sweetened hazelnut cocoa spread

The fruits Topped with fresh strawberries and blueberries

Chef behind the dish OVER 20 years’ experience around the world, Chef James Bradbury is the Global Head of Culinary of Minor Food Group. Drawing his inspiration from his extensive travel and research, combining with the latest food trends and carefully sourced ingredients, he is the man behind the Coffee Clubs unique menu. Available at the Coffee Clubs nationwide. www.coffeeclub.com.au/thailand facebook.com/thecoffeeclubthailand

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White wine seafood soup Chef Pairoh Arungam of CHOW Café & Bar shares her recipe for a succulent seafood dish ----------------- Ingredients -----------------4 4 100 g 6 50 g 2 1 tsp 1 tsp ¼ cup 1 cup 1 cup 1 tsp 2 2

pieces of shrimps (medium size, peeled tail-on shrimp) pieces of sea bass (2-inch per piece) cleaned squid (sliced crosswise into 1/2inch-wide rings) pieces of cherry tomatoes chopped onion roughly chopped garlic cloves finely chopped flat-leaf parsley oregano leaves olive oil dry white wine vegetable stock or distilled water salt chopped fresh green or red chillies slices of toasted French bread

-------------------- Method --------------------• Heat the olive oil in the saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic until you can smell the garlic. Then add parsley and oregano leaves. Stir well. • Add the wine and vegetable stock or water. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens up or until the water is reduced by half. Add the tomatoes and chillies to the mixture.

• Add salt then wait for the soup to boil. Add the prepared squid, sea bass and shrimps. Wait for the ingredients to cook thoroughly. • To serve, pour the soup into a bowl and garnish the dish with oregano leaves and toasted French bread on the side.

Chef in focus

Chef Pairoh Arungam 56

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WITH over 25 years’ experience in traditional Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Italian cuisine, Chef Joke has worked locally in numerous leading hotels in Thailand and internationally in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and Italy. Bringing to the plates her experience, passion and creativity to the menus at CHOW Café and Bar. CHOW Café & Bar. Metropole Hotel Thonglor, 2802 New Petchburi Road. 02 318 2273. facebook.com/CHOW.Bangkok

cut out and keep

Recipe


Meet the Chef Three words that best describe your cooking? Fresh, hygienic, and delicious.

SERVING UP Renu Homsombat

Saffron's Corporate Chef, Banyan Tree

Best advice you’ve ever received? Never say that you can’t do it if you haven’t even tried. Most influential chef? Chef Harald Wohlfahrt.

The utensils you can’t do without? Knife, pan and pot.

Who was the most memorable person you’ve ever cooked for? The Queen Grandmother of the King Jigme of Bhutan.

What’s your favourite wine? Rosé and Sweet wine.

Most difficult ingredient to work with There is no ingredient that is difficult to work with for me. Music you listen to whilst cooking? I don’t normally What do you listen to the music like doing when in the kitchen. you’re not busy cooking? Seeking new inspiration.

Chef in

Your biggest mistake when you were a brand new chef? I was really hot tempered when I started. What’s your greatest achievement to date? I was the first Asian chef invited to a Michelin chef event in Germany. What would you be if you weren’t a chef? Probably a vegetable gardener.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? My mother’s special dish.

■ JOINING Banyan Tree in 2008, Chef Renu Homsombat has been assigned as the Corporate Chef to Saffron – Banyan Tree’s signature Thai restaurant – since 2011. Exposed to the culinary arts since childhood thanks to her mother owning a small restaurant in her hometown, she had no difficulty deciding what her career would be. Skillfully demonstrating her excellent culinary skills, Chef Renu has experience working at events in many Banyan Tree hotels and resorts worldwide. Her passion is reflected in the outstanding dishes served daily at Saffron.

focus

Banyan Tree Bangkok. Sathon Ta, Thung Maha Mek, Bangkok. 02 679 1200. www.banyantree.com

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New on the

scene

Hot new restaurants, bars & cafes in Bangkok Gismo Coffee & Roasters INSPIRED to create a green space with great dining choices in the city, Gismo Coffee & Roasters was born. A small restaurant surrounded by greenery offering freshness and vitality to all guests. Dishes served at the restaurant are the creation of

Dynasty restaurant OFFERING a gastronomic journey with authentic Cantonese cuisine at Dynasty restaurant on the 24th floor at Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld. This 102-dish a la carte menu offers a list of delicious delicacies of the Imperial Chinese era prepared by master Cantonese chef, Kongsun Sae-Liang. On offer include Dynasty prawn salad, Deep-fried wrapped prawns and Yunnan ham, Barbequed whole suckling pig, and more. Dynasty restaurant. Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, 24th floor. 02 100 6255. centarahotelsresorts.com/ centaragrand/cgcw/restaurant

the executive chef and owner with over 10 years’ experience working in top Michelin star restaurants. Menu includes Western-style meals that are homey to eat but minus the grease. Gismo Coffee & Roasters. 41 Soi Sukhumvit 39 Road. 02 160 0311, 090 091 9111. gismobangkok.com

Brasserie Cordonnier

TAKING the guests back in time to 1930’s Paris, Brasserie Cordonnier brought back the traditional sights, smells, and tastes of classic French Brasserie. Set out to recreate the authentic French dining experience with a selection of premium quality ingredients the menus were created by the French Executive Chef who’s earned years of experience working in several Michelin star restaurants. Brasserie Cordonnier. Sukhumvit Soi 11 Road. 02 045 4343, 094 970 8599. cordonnierbkk.com

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Strip AD_Foodland_Aug17.pdf

Strip AD_Bourbon St_May16.indd 1

1

7/27/2560 BE

9:35 AM

4/26/16 9:29 AM

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Dining Out

Pirate Chambre Local Trattoria Where X really marks the spot

T

HIS pirate-themed restaurant truly holds treasure. The mysterious vibe offers guests more than they bargain for both in terms of food, drinks and services.

SIGNATURE DISHES

Offering a wide range of best-loved international and Thai-fusion dishes, dining at Pirate Chambre can ensure a feast for the senses for all. The starter was the Cold angel hair pasta with prawns, truffle and caviar (B470) – delicate and cold-served angel hair pasta mixed with special sauce made from Kombu, Hijiki, Wakame seaweeds, orange stock, soy sauce and truffle sauce served with cooked prawns topped with salmon eggs and caviar. This was followed by the signature main dish, Grilled Pork with Mustard Miso (B420) – marinated pork ribs with a special ingredient and secret sauce served with Miso sauce and 'Mantou' or steamed bun.   Next up was the Pirate Burger (B390) – the new-style burger that uses special pizza dough instead

ATMOSPHERE

This treasure trove offers an adventurous feel. The classic decor offers a mysterious yet fun vibe with the pirate and treasure theme. Opening from 11am to midnight with a live band starting at 8 pm daily.  

of burger bun served with a slice of avocado, Benedict egg, and vegetables topped with Thousand Island dressing and cheddar cheese and the Salmon Burger (B340) – slices of salmon in pizza dough as the bun and butterhead lettuce served with tartar and teriyaki sauce were also intriguing to try. Signature drinks were presented in style. The Johnny D. & Mermaid (B750) – a glass of cocktail mix topped with cotton candy and a glass of whisky mixed with a marshmallow on top.

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PARKING

Parking is available at Maneeya centre building.

Pirate Chambre. 518/5 Maneeya Center North, Ploenchit Rd, Bangkok. 022 252 5131. facebook.com/piratechambre


Dining Out

No. 43 Italian Bistro Delicious authentic Italian cuisine in town

O

NLY a five-minute walk from the BTS Chidlom station, No.43 Italian Bistro offers the finest Italian dishes prepared by skilful Italian chefs. Located in the foyer of the luxurious Cape House Serviced Apartment in Langsuan, this comfortable yet sophisticated restaurant was designed to give its guests the authentic taste of Italian recipes with a combination of heartwarming ‘trattoria’ style fare and sophisticated ‘ristorante’ cuisine.

ATMOSPHERE

The No.43 Italian Bistro features comfortable chairs and tables across its split-level white wood floor offering a relaxing ambience with an air of elegance. Special for The BigChilli readers get 10% discount for all a la carte menu. Please notify the staff in advanced.

SIGNATURE DISHES

Using imported and authentic Italian ingredients, the menu at No.43 offers a varied selection of delicious dishes including Pizza Affogata (B275++) – freshly baked pizza topped with prawn, mozzarella cheese and spinach; All’Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino black ink pasta (B280++) – a black pasta dish cooked with fresh squid, prawns, scallops and clams in rich and tangy sauce; Filetto di Manzo (B700++) – a perfectly grilled beef tenderloin steak with homemade gravy sauce; Branzino ai Porcini e Tartufo (B600++) – fresh Snow Fish grilled to perfection served with truffles and Porcini mushroom sauce. The dessert menu includes light Panna Cotta (B120++) with outstanding pistachio sauce

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and home-made Tiramisu (B130++) served with a cinnamon brownie. Available also are an array of cocktails and mocktails like Whisky Sour (B150++), Blue Hawaii (B150++), and Cranpiria (B100++). The No.43 Italian Bistro opens daily from 6am-midnight with breakfast and lunch buffet available.

PARKING

Parking available at Cape House Serviced Apartments. No. 43 Italian Bistro 43 Soi Langsuan, Ploenchit Road. 02 658 7444. capehouse.com


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Dining Out

The Drunken Leprechaun

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HIS jolly Irish bar & restaurant is located on the ground floor of Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok Hotel. The Drunken Leprechaun is another gem for food, drinks and good times with family and friends on Sukhumvit Road.

lamb chops served with grilled potato, green peas, tomatoes and mint jelly. Next up was the BBQ Pork Spare Ribs (B360) – succulent grilled pork ribs marinated with The Drunken Leprechaun's secret sauce served with coleslaw and fries. Another mustnot-miss dish is the Char-Grilled

SIGNATURE DISHES

First up was The Drunken Leprechaun Fish and Chips (B360) – famous appetiser of crispy fried battered fish and chips served with mashed green peas and tartar sauce. Followed by the Dublin Coddle (B350) – the original baked Irish sausage, bacon, onion, and parsley; then the juicy Lamb Chops Emerald Isle Style (B630) – perfectly grilled

ATMOSPHERE

Beef Sirloin (B690) – this beautifully char-grilled steak is served with sautéed potato, mushroom, asparagus and dressed with Irish gravy. All this coupled with the award-winning craft beer like Chalawan Pale Ale (B260) completed the hearty meal.

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This Irish bar & restaurant decorated with dark wood panels offers fun and friendly atmosphere. Perfect place for friends' or family's night out with live music performing five days a week and full band every Friday, it’s a definite go-to spot for good vibes, good food and good drinks. And don’t forget to say hi to the Leprechauns as well.

PARKING

Parking is available at Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok, Sukhumvit 15 Hotel. The Drunken Leprechaun. Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok. 4 Soi Sukhumvit 15. 02 309 3255. thedrunkenleprechaun.com/en/bangkok


Quince

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ISITING Quince for the fourth time, we enjoyed possibly the best lunch here yet again. At the counter of the bar, we found Duck Liver Parfait and Apple Jelly, Pistachios, a tasty terrine, Fromage de Tête, Radish & Parsley Salad. The patés were accompanied by two styles of bread. This veritable feast of canapés (“a great way to start” according to Jock Tulloch, the food spokesman), was matched perfectly with two Paddocks Pinot Noir Picnic 2015, (Central Otago, NZ). Starter included Cold-Smoked ‘Cobia Kingfish’ and NZ Salmon Gravlax accompanied by a Mango Salsa presented to 19 diners with most reserving the majority of their appreciation for the Kingfish. The accompanying wine, Biecher & Schaal Riesling Grand Cru Rosacker 2014, (Alsace, France) proved to be a good choice commended by wine spokesman, Dick

Guest review by

Stone. It had been described by the winemaker as “complex, taut and mineral with some spice, apricot, lime and pear. A hint of tangerine, and lovely tingling acidity” and certainly for me a great Riesling. The Bouillabaisse of European Rock Fish that followed was an adventurous choice made by Kiwi Chef Cameron though I searched in vain for the rouille, cheese and croutons often to be found in French versions of the soup. Other diners undertook a more diligent search and Jock commended the addition of the spice he had found. Ziereisen Gutedel Steingruble 2013, (Baden, Germany) came with the soup and was an excellent match. It was rich, intense, and powerful with a fine, well-balanced acidity.

Cameron’s pièce de résistance proved to be Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder and Rosemary Jus served with Roast Japanese Pumpkin and a sizeable tasty Caesar Salad. The lamb (and the Pumpkin), cooked to perfection, came with the family style serving enabled all to enjoy

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Bangkok Beefsteak & Burgundy

without limit the delicious meat. Wine Master Thomas Boedinger had chosen Hacienda Monasterio Crianza 2012 (Ribera Del Duero, Spain) to accompany this; it is mostly Tempranillo with some 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 2% Malbec. Robert Parker scored it 94 and correctly said, “it’s ripe without excess and there’s a good balance between fruit, spices and perhaps something earthy. The palate is extremely balanced, medium-bodied with very fine tannins, tasty, approachable and long”. This was an excellent choice for both the main dish and the dessert that followed, Organic Mulberry Summer Pudding with Chantilly Cream. The cheeses came from near and far and I identified Dutch Edam, a delicious NZ Cheddar, French Roquefort, and ‘Heaven on Cheese’ Camembert from Nakhon Sawan.

Pra Valpolicella Ripasso Morandina 2014, (Veneto, Italy) was next followed by glasses of Sherry and Glenfiddich (added to the menu by respectively John Handley and Phil Shaw in celebration of their birthdays). The wine was an excellent blend of Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella. All the wines served were recommended to us by importer Wine Garage. Our number of diners swelled by four visiting members of 3H Food and Wine B&B, Adelaide who generously donated souvenirs of their visit to our club. We asked Mike Roach to pay our respects and compliments to Chef Cameron, Restaurant Manager James, and the hard working team of servers who had made the lunch a great success.


School Report

SISB gymnastics star wins big at 14th Singapore Open

Harrow Bangkok Jazz Orchestra Sparkle at British Embassy Celebration

THE Harrow Bangkok Jazz Orchestra was invited to perform at the British Embassy’s celebration in honour of the Queen of England’s Birthday Celebration at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel in Bangkok. The group worked very hard in putting together a show of something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Performing for over two hours, the group changed gears seamlessly wowing the audience of VIPs with smooth jazz vocals and instrumental soloists. The British Ambassador to Thailand H.E. Mr Brian Davidson was thrilled with the performance and thanked the students personally.

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ARISA Tanthathoedtham, a Year 9 student from Singapore International School of Bangkok (SISB), won in several events at the 14th Singapore Open Gymnastics Championships. She won gold medals in the Individual All-round, Clubs and Ribbon competitions, and also added a bronze medal in the Ball competition of the Rhythmic Gymnastics category (International Junior). The national team gymnast, who also trains at SISB, is an SISB Sports Scholarship holder. The SISB sports scholarship supports students who are talented in sports to pursue their dreams while studying at SISB. The 14th Singapore Open Gymnastics Championships took place from June 2 - 25, were participated by more than 700 gymnasts from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam across the four disciplines of gymnastics: Women’s Artistic, Men’s Artistic, Trampoline & Rhythmic. The International Junior and Senior categories are sanctioned by the International Federation de Gymnastique (FIG), which stipulates that participating gymnasts must be entered by their country and represent their Federation. The championships provide a platform for gymnasts around the world to gain competition experience and exposure.


School Report

‘A*’ for accelerated learning Fifteen-year-old Phu Sakulwongtana, part of Traill International School’s Accelerated Learning Programme, has been unconditionally accepted at London’s University College

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RAILL student Phu Sakulwongtana, who graduated last year to complete a gap year in the technology industry, returned to Traill to share his recent and most glowing success story yet. However, Phu is no stranger to success; despite being just 15 years of age, Phu has done nothing but excel all his life. Phu was quickly identified as exceptionally talented after he joined the primary school at Traill. Moreover, it was recognised that just fitting him into a typical international school programme would hinder his progress. He became part of Traill’s unique accelerated learners’ programme which enabled him to learn with his peers whilst studying to a much higher level. This programme has the capacity to accelerate the most able students through school at a pace which is appropriate to their individual needs. In most cases it is by one or two years, but in Phu’s case, it was by four years. Phu started at Traill with very limited English. By Year 9 he had taken all his IGCSE’s and got A*’s in all of them. He took three levels within one year (four months for Physics A-level) and got an A* and two A’s when he was just 14 years old. Leading a balanced school life at Traill, Phu really enjoyed being in the warm family environment of Traill School, taking part in all activities and being part of the school basketball team. So what was Phu’s most recent success story? He has now accepted an unconditional offer from University College, London, still at only 15 years old, to read Computer Science. Our congratulations go to him for this phenomenal achievement, and we will watch with great interest for his future achievements through university and beyond.

www.traillschool.ac.th

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Expat Women

Elsie’s latest masterpiece – a rural retreat for artists of all ages Popular Scottish painter is perfectly at home with her new studio in Rayong

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he far end of a quiet country lane in Rayong is the remote but an entirely suitable setting for Elsie’s vision to create a supportive environment for guests to relax, explore and create. “Elsie Evans Art Retreat” is the brainchild of Scottish expat Elsie Evans, whose paintings, drawings and illustrations have delighted and enthralled Bangkok art lovers for more than 20 years. Elsie Evans Art Retreat is, however, one of her finest works. The property is a combination of studio and

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By Colin Hastings classroom for students, central lounge and community kitchen, a number of indoor and outdoor relaxation and eating areas, a separate four-bedroom all en-suite residence for overnight stayers, a good-sized swimming pool, encouragingly interactive landscaped gardens with produce all year round, and land and plans for future expansion and evolution. Most guests come to this idyllic spot to tap into Elsie’s considerable experience as an art teacher who is just at ease with kindergarten kids as with retirees. Elsie supplies all the materials, and her

Most guests come to this idyllic spot to tap into Elsie’s considerable experience as an art teacher who is just at ease with kindergarten kids as with retirees.

classes embrace all facets of art, including sketching using pencils, paints and pastels, and still life drawing. As well as the abundance of beautiful landscapes and scenes that surround the retreat, live models can also be arranged with prior notice. For those who opt out of the classes, the relaxed atmosphere of this genuine away-from-it-all venue is a wonderful alternative attraction. So, while the children learn all about art, mum and dad can sit by the swimming pool with a gin and tonic in-hand or head off to nearby Hat Ram Pheung beach.


From the outset, Elsie has endeavoured to make the retreat far more than just an art school. As an expat in Thailand for 30 years Elsie has fine-tuned her passion for hosting, a talent she perfected years ago while running the legendary Attic Studios in Bangkok and the variety of visiting personalities, and she has taken that natural joie de vivre and transplanted it in Rayong. At the retreat, everybody is encouraged to muck in and share the entirety of the space and ethos of the venture.

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t’s not a hotel or resort,” says Elsie. “People are free to use the kitchen, designed for cooking classes and community, cook for themselves, or share their food with others. We have Friday dinners, which often turn into social occasions. One of the most rewarding aspects of the venture is allowing the relaxed and unassuming environment of the retreat to catalyse new friendships and through the exchanging of contact details, allow these to grow in the future between our guests.” Elsie moved into Art Retreat in January of this year, though the buildings were completed several months earlier, allowing her to wrap up her teaching commitments in Bangkok. The project sits on over 1.5 rai of land and through determination and an almost relentless stubbornness, Elsie’s Art Retreat has become a successful amalgamation of modern design practices fitted with antique furniture collected throughout Asia. The ground floor has more glass doors and windows than solid walls, giving it a wonderful light and airy feel, with views of the garden to inspire art students. Elsie’s bedroom, a couple of twin rooms and a mezzanine library are located on the upper

floor, where large balconies look out onto the surrounding countryside and distant hills. The art retreat is a massive undertaking as most ventures, visions and businesses are. But Elsie is a woman of enormous determination and enterprise, a fighter who has put a devastating personal loss behind her to raise a family in a foreign land. She’s not only put her heart and soul into creating Art Retreat, but also her entire worth. “I’m penniless now,” she quips with a grin and admirable candour. “So I have to make it work.” Elsie was born 61 years ago in a small fishing village in the north of Scotland. Studying pharmacy at university didn’t suit her and switched to art school ignoring the admonishment from family. Jobs were hard to find back then, so she worked initially as a window dresser, and then sold advertising for a local newspaper “because it came with a car”. Later she joined an ad agency as an account executive.” After falling pregnant, Elsie married her boyfriend Fred; their first son Peter arrived in 1985. The family moved to Holland not long after. “Fred had a contract to

Elsie was born 61 years ago in a small fishing village in the north of Scotland. Studying pharmacy at university didn’t suit her and switched to art school ignoring the admonishment from family.

work for the oil company Unocal and we spent nine months there. I hated it. I was so homesick and was in tears every Sunday when I phoned my mum.” After relocating to Thailand in 1986, Elsie gave birth to Michael, Richard and Andrew in 1987, 1989 and 1991 respectively. Richard is currently the only son who is unable to visit frequently “although life with four boys is dynamic and often changes”, as he works for the Association of Tennis Professionals in Australia. Husband Fred was a professional diver, often working on dangerous missions that took him away from home for lengthy periods. “I told him ‘I’m not bringing up the kids by myself,’ so on my insistence he eventually got an office job.” The couple left Thailand in 2004 for a new position with Unocal – by now renamed Chevron – in Jakarta, Indonesia, where they stayed for the next two years. In April 2006, unimaginable tragedy struck the family when Fred died during a leisure dive at Koh Tao in Thailand. With four children to bring up on her own, Elsie had to make some extremely important

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decisions, including where to live and how she was going to make a living. Thailand was top of her list. “I decided to come back in 2006 because we’d been here for 18 years previously and I had a lot of friends. I knew I had to make some money – I didn’t have much.

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uring her first stint in Thailand, Elsie enjoyed a busy social life. At various times she was Chieftain of the St Andrews Society, a member of the Board of Governors at Bangkok Pattana School, where she also had taught, Commissioner of a local soccer league, participated and taught Taekwondo and even sold carpets. “I’d also have been miserable in Scotland. My kids were born here in Thailand, it is where we know and understand - Thailand is our home.” Her first venture was Attic Studios, which she set up initially in Soi 39, then later

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Her first venture was Attic Studios, which she set up initially in Soi 39, then later in Soi 31. Elsie would teach in the mornings and paint in the afternoons.

in Soi 31. Elsie would teach in the mornings and paint in the afternoons. Every month there’d be an art exhibition by up and coming artists who couldn’t afford the fees in the bigger Bangkok galleries. The studio became famous for its ‘First Friday of the Month parties’, staying open late and attracting all sorts of characters. It was even described as a Bangkok ‘urban legend’ by Thai International’s in-flight magazine. Although Elsie sold Attic Studios last year, she still gives a master class there once a month and continues to help the new owner and attend whenever she’s in Bangkok. She first thought about setting up an art retreat five years ago as a means of getting retirees and other people away from the stresses of Bangkok living. “When I paint I forget how old I am” Elsie recounts hearing from an 85-year-old man. “I wanted to open a place where you can relax and provide an atmosphere where creativity

isn’t forced after spending numerous hours and days in traffic, pollution and pressure.” “A friend put me in touch with the owner of some empty land near Rayong, and I found a builder who spoke excellent English. The architect was one of my son’s friends who I used to teach, but I had a good idea of how I wanted the house to look but lacked the experience to complete the technical drawings needed for construction.” Although thoroughly pleased with the finished project, Elise has a few continued misgivings as all expats face when owning small businesses in Thailand. Visas, work permits and attention to detail. “But overall I am glad I came back to Thailand.” Elsie’s quotes: “Everybody has art in them.” “Here you will be taught by an artist, not a teacher.” “Everybody has an aunt or grandmother called Elsie.” www.elsieevansartretreat.com


Expat Women

MEIYOKU SKINCARE PRODUCTS LAUNCH

THAI Meiji Pharmaceutical, a Meiji group company recently launched ‘Meiyoku’ skincare products series – four skincare products containing Horse Oil which is from one of the most famous production areas, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan.

ANOTHER STORY LAUNCH

IN collaboration with Izipizi, Another Story introduced “IZIPIZI x ANOTHER STORY LIMITED EDITION” under the earth traveler concept. Specifically designed for those with active and fun lifestyle, there are only 1,000 pairs exclusively made.

THE LATEST COLLECTION SEPHORA FALL 2017 THREE COLLECTIONS BY CARAT* LONDON

CARAT* London, one of the world’s leading jewellery brand unveiled the latest designs from its new collections called ‘Sparta’, ‘Cesar’ and ‘Talis’ which reflect beauty in perfect alignment at Playroom, Oriental Residence Hotel.

INTRODUCING new lips trend, Sephora Thailand held a beauty bash to present the latest beauty trends from more than 20 top brands with distinctive focus on futuristic design and strong, eye-catching colours. Have fun with the Spring 2017 collection from July onward at SEPHORA.

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Spa & Wellness

01 GET fit while having fun with Yoga Fly and Zumba at LIFESTYLES ON 26, Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld. Yoga Fly classes are available every Monday at 7.45-8.40pm and Zumba classes are available on Mondays from 6.30-7.30pm, Wednesdays from 2-3pm and Thursdays from 8-9pm. Priced at B400 per session or B3,500 for 10 sessions and B6,000 for 20 sessions. 02 100 6299. 01 FLY LIKE AN ANGEL AND DANCE LIKE A QUEEN 02 THANN LAUNCHED ITS NEW BRANCH 03 MIRACLE ANTI-AGING TREATMENT AT SPA CENVAREE

02 THANN recently launched its new branch on Sukhumvit 47 offering Salt cave, Oxygen room, Aromatherapy steam bath, and Acupressure foot bath treatments. 02 011 7104. thannsanctuaryspa.info

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03 SPA Cenvaree, Central Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld offers a miracle facial treatment ‘Anti Aging’ to treat everything from lines, deep wrinkles, to dark spots. Jurlique Intense recovery offers an intensive treatment at a special price of B3,000++ per person only at Spa Cenvaree. 02 100 1234 ext 6511, 6516. spacenvaree.com


Complete Your Living Experience by Sansiri

SANSIRI has launched a ‘Complete Your Living Experience’ brand technique with a goal to extend the business’s tradition of bringing the very best living and way of life to Thai individuals in preparation for a brand-new generation of customers. The ‘Fill Your Life With Good’ project aims to set new brand name instructions through the introduction of six functions that fulfil all target customers’ way of life requirement in each specific job. The style and advancement of Educational Playground, among the six functions, marks the very first partnership between realty and health care markets to ensure the best living experience.

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School Report

Get the most out of living in Bangkok

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ANGKOK is a unique and exciting city, equal parts an old kingdom and modern metropolis with its interesting mix of old town charms and the latest trends with diverse crowds from all over the world crowding its streets. From ancient temples to gourmet street food, Michelin-starred restaurants, and a burgeoning arts scene, there’s something for everyone. So, how do we make the most out of living in this city? The simple answer is through building a strong and well-connected community based on well-being and access to the necessary information.

Have a healthy routine

A healthy lifestyle in Bangkok can be surprisingly hard to come by. While a healthy social life is an important component, balance and moderation is an even bigger component. It’s balancing between the two extremes which can include joining meet up groups that are dedicated to a sport you enjoy or get a membership at one of the city’s fitness centres. At the very least, grab a bike and cycle around one of Bangkok’s many parks, or even go for a leisurely stroll around your neighbourhood.

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Stay connected with the community The Bangkok community of residents is anything but boring. One of the joys of living in Bangkok is the diversity of the people with whom we come in contact every day. The Farmer’s Market is one of the best ways for a new or seasoned resident of Bangkok to really get to know the community. It is one of the most popular regular events in the city, bringing all of us closer to each other through the simple act of buying and selling goods.   Whether it is the Thailand-grown coffee, artisan bread from a master baker, sustainably-caught fresh fish, and some of the finest Italian cheese produced in Bangkok, to a great deal of handmade personal and home care products, the Farmer’s Market offers shoppers an incredible opportunity to taste the flavours of the world while connecting with the people who are working to bring new tastes and experiences to the city.  

Meet your niche

Now in its 19th year, ‘Living in Bangkok’ is an annual event that aims to fulfil one mission: to connect Bangkok’s diverse residents with their local community, thus giving a chance for families and individuals to

come into contact with the businesses and organizations that aim to make life in Bangkok a more fulfilling and convenient reality. It began very humbly as a gathering of a few friends, who, nearly two decades ago, did not have the resources we now take for granted. Today, ‘Living in Bangkok’ exists and continues to create an integrated community and a platform for expats and other residents of Bangkok to explore their community and meet others who may be experiencing a similar life journey. The event typically features a number of independent vendors, community organisations, international schools, travel and hospitality service providers and specialised retailers. This year, ‘Living in Bangkok’ is partnering with the Bangkok Farmer’s Market. This partnership is a return to the roots of what makes ‘Living in Bangkok’ such an important event for all of us. It’s not just a day of shopping and fun among friends; it’s an opportunity to make connections that may last well into the future while helping us define what a healthy, wellconnected, and diverse community looks like. We hope to see you at this year’s Living in Bangkok and Farmer’s Market Event, on the 21st floor of Bumrungrad International Hospital’s Clinic Building, on Saturday, September 23, from 9 am to 5 pm.


Insight

Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort It’s possible to have an active yet relaxing holidays at this Asia’s best sports resort

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OCATED fifteen minutes from Phuket International Airport, Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort offers a perfect destination for those looking for a balanced approach to their lifestyle at the finest spot of Phuket. With varied facilities and staff at the highest quality in sports and hospitality, Thanyapura has been welcoming ranging from individual, family or even professional

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athletes for their global sporting events. The state-of-the-art facilities offered at Thanyapura include a 50m Olympic pool, a 25m pool, athletic track, modern 900 sq m gyms, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, Muay Thai training ring and a FIFA standard football field. Guided bike tours and runs are also offered along the perfect route with the beautiful surroundings of Phuket. After burning out calories with the world-class sports facilities, it is time for relaxation. Through personalised treatment programs, the experts will guide guests toward a healthier life through sustained physical, emotional, and mental transformations including a unique combination such as detox, weight-loss, yoga and mindfulness meditation classes and anti-ageing therapies. Guests then can enjoy resting time amongst the green scenery of mountains and gardens of Thanyapura Sports Resort room facilities. Catering to each individual’s aspirations for a healthy lifestyle, the resort offers 114

rooms with two different atmospheres of Pool Wing and Garden Wing. The Garden Wing is ideal for individual and group lifestyle modifications offering extensive facilities and healthoriented services while the Pool Wing provides a dynamic and refreshing atmosphere for active guests. For meal times, Thanyapura offers two distinctive outlets for wideranging dining experiences such as Thai, International and vegan dishes meticulously prepared by innovative chefs and onsite expert nutritionist. A private cooking class is also available upon request. Relax with the complex’s worldclass facilities, beautiful wide open space and enjoy the mindful services from the professional experts and staff at Thanyapura.

Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort 120/1 Moo 7, Thepkasattri Road, Thalang, Phuket 83110. 076 336 000. www.thanyapura.com


Health

How to get enough protein into your diet

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don’t eat a lot of meat and for the last two weeks I was tracking my eating habits to see if I actually get enough protein for the level of strength exercises I do. I have to say, I struggled with getting the right amount. Protein helps make new cells and repair damaged cells in the tissues of your muscles, organs, and immune system. It also helps build and maintain muscle mass. Proteins are made of amino acids, which are reprocessed in your body to make more proteins. There are essential, nonessential, and conditional amino acids. Your body makes 13 nonessential amino acids on its own. However, you need to consume proteinrich foods to get the nine essential amino acids. Conditional amino acids aren’t usually essential, but you need them in higher amounts in time of stress and illness or intensive muscle training. It’s easy to get protein in your diet even if you’re vegetarian or vegan. Following are recommendations for daily protein intake and a list of foods I have in my fridge high in protein that will maybe surprise you.

Protein recommendations The recommended daily allowance of protein is a formula based on your

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age and weight. You should eat 0.36 g of protein per pound of body weight. That means if you weigh 140 pounds, you should eat 50 g of protein each day. Athletes and people who exercise vigorously need 0.54 to 0.90 g of protein per pound of body weight. Another formula used to determine how much protein you need is based on your calorie intake. You should get 10 to 35% of your calories from protein. Depending on how many calories you need, your protein requirements may be higher or lower than if you base it on your weight. Children need 1 g of protein for every 2 pounds they weigh. If a child weighs 40 pounds, they need 20 g of protein daily. Pregnant women should eat 71 g of protein daily no matter how many calories they eat.

Eggs Eggs are protein powerhouses. They’re also loaded with vitamins and minerals such as folate and other B vitamins, and choline. Eggs are adaptable for any meal of the day. Keep a supply of hard-boiled eggs in your refrigerator for a portable, protein-crammed meal or snack. Nutrition: One whole egg has 6 g protein, 68 kcal, and 4.5 g fat. And egg white has about 17 kcal and 3.6 g of protein

By Judith Coulson

Chicken Chicken is one of the most popular and versatile protein-rich foods. It is low in fat, (if eaten without the skin) has zero carbs, and is high in choline, B vitamins, phosphorous, and selenium. Roasted or grilled chicken has much fewer calories and fat than chicken that’s fried or prepared in a rich sauce. Nutrition: 170g roasted chicken breast without skin has 53 g protein, 284 kcal, and 6 g fat.

Beef Beef is one of the best protein sources. It’s also high in iron, a mineral many people don’t get enough of. The longer the beef is cooked the lower the protein value.


Lean cuts are best because they’re lower in fat and cholesterol. Nutrition: 85 g top sirloin steak has 25 g protein, 180 kcal, and 8 g fat.

Fish The protein content of fish varies. Most types have between 15 and 20% protein. Some fish have more protein. Fish is loaded with other nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, iron, and potassium. Fish may be gilled, baked, or broiled. Some fish highest in protein are: Bluefin tuna: 85 g has 25 g protein, 156 kcal, and 5 g fat Tilapia: one tilapia fillet (roughly 85 g) has 23 g protein, 111 kcal, and 2 g fat Sockeye salmon: 85 g has 23 g protein, 133 kcal, and 5 g fat

means it’s eaten like a gain even though it’s a small, edible seed. Quinoa is a good source of folate and other B vitamins, and many minerals, particularly manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous. Quinoa is also high in fibre. Toss it into a smoothie, or cook it like oatmeal and top with maple syrup and cinnamon. Nutrition: 1 cup of cooked quinoa has 8 g protein, 222 kcal, and 3.5 g fat.

Almonds (and most other nuts)

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lmonds are high in protein, B vitamins, and vitamin E. They’re also a major source of almost every essential mineral, especially manganese, magnesium, and potassium. Almonds may be eaten raw or roasted. They’re geat on their own or in salads or stir-fried dishes. They make a unique coating for baked chicken or fish. Nutrition: 1/4 cup of whole almonds has 7.5 g protein, 207 kcal, and 18 g fat.

Quinoa Quinoa is a pseudo cereal, which

Passion fruit This tropical fruit is high in fibre, vitamin C, and B vitamins. It also has iron, potassium, magnesium, and most other essential minerals. Enjoy passion fruit on its own, or in a smoothie, salad, or fruit salsa. Passion fruit is high in carbs. If you have diabetes or are watching your carb intake, eat it in moderation. Nutrition: 1 cup of passion fruit has 5 g protein, 229 kcal, and 1.5 g fat.

Kale (and most other geen vegetables)

Geek yoghurt Yoghurt is made from fermented milk. All types of yoghurt have protein. Geek yoghurt is strained so it’s thicker than regular yoghurt. It also has more protein than regular yoghurt. Eating Geek yoghurt can help you meet your daily recommended allowance of calcium, potassium and probiotics. The lactose intolerant can eat yoghurt because the bacterial cultures break down the lactose in milk. Nutrition: One container (roughly 170 g) full fat plain Geek yoghurt has 18 g protein

butter, and other condiments. They’re also geat in smoothies. Nutrition: One avocado (about 190 g) has 4 g protein, 322 kcal, and 29.5 g fat.

Lentils They’re high in some B vitamins as well. Lentils make a geat substitute for meat in tacos and other Mexican dishes. They’re tasty in a veggie burger and soups. Red lentils cook very fast and don’t need to be soaked ahead. Nutrition: 1 cup of cooked lentils has 18 g protein, 230 kcal, and a trace of fat.

Black beans (Lima beans and Chickpeas) They’re also high in fibre, folate, and many essential minerals. Black beans are delicious in veggie burgers, tacos, and dips. Surprisingly, they make a wonderful flour substitute in brownies. The result is a fudgy dessert that’s healthier and packed with protein. Nutrition: 1 cup of cooked black beans has 15 g protein, 227 kcal, and 1 g fat.

Avocado They’re a good source of protein, fibre, and vitamin E. They also have vitamin K, folate, and many other essential nutrients. Avocados are geat for sandwiches. Mashed, they make a healthy substitute for mayonnaise,

It has enough protein to help you meet your daily requirement. Kale is off the charts in vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Geen veggies are a geat complimentary side dish to meat, fish and eggs. Kale can be eaten raw if young leafs, boiled, gilled, sautéed or baked until crisp. Nutrition: 1 cup of cooked kale has 2.5 g protein, 36 kcal, and a trace of fat.

Sweet corn Sweet corn is a summertime barbeque staple, but you may not realise it has protein. An ear of sweet corn can help you meet your daily intake of fibre, vitamin C, and many minerals. Sweet corn is good on its own or in soups, chowders, and salads. Nutrition: 1 cup of cut sweet corn has 5 g protein, 143 kcal, and 2 g fat.

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

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Shopping

COACH

Season

to be bold The latest in eyewear fashion

COACH boasts its Summer/Fall 2017 collection with a new assortment of eclectic modern designs eyewear that embody the brand’s free-spirited, authentic American-cool lifestyle. Newest this season, the Varsity Stripe gets reimagined with a bold, three-dimensional Coach brand stamped on each piece’s temples. A standout style in Coach’s Varsity Stripe design sports an edgy and innovative look showing off its vintage-looking design and Eyewear character. coach.com

V Eyewear

V Eyewear and Mafia Factory have collaborated to create the Milton, the lightweight, durable, and flexible sunglasses model. These glasses come with a figurine, ideal for fashion and design collectors. veyewear.com

Dolce & Gabbana

FLAUNTING its tropical theme, Dolce & Gabbana’s new collection draws inspiration from its vibrant birthplace in Southern Italy. The Limited Edition, Tropico Italiano sunglasses are both playful and striking with their loud colours, fruit-and-flower themed embellishments with a touch of glittering crystals and sequins. dolcegabbana.com

Armani

ESTABLISHED in 1975, the Italian brand Armani has released its latest collection of eyewear. The elegant Spring-Summer eyewear collection includes the exquisitely-designed blend of pure lines with contemporary touches, offering an array of high-quality products for both men and women. The optical eyewear offers refreshing vibes with a combination of carbon fibre, wood, and nylon. armani.com

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Ray-Ban

THE renowned eyewear brand’s SS17 collection showcase ‘The General’ – the new design that re-mastered the classics to create a fresh and bold aesthetic. The new collection is available in aviator model re-engineered with a sharper and bolder silhouette. ray-ban.com

Burberry the Buckle

BURBERRY unveiled this year’s eyewear collection, paying homage to the brand’s signature trench coat with the distinctive gold buckle visible on the side and a mixture of classic colours including burgundy, black, and tortoise shell that are traditional yet innovative. burberry.com

Prada Linea Rossa

THE newest collection from Prada’s eyewear – Prada Linea Ross – creates a sporty and casual aesthetic look with a sleek design and avant-garde materials with specific manufacturing techniques. Ideal for active lifestyle the sunglasses are lightweight and weather resistant with rubber coating that makes it comfortable and stylish. prada.com

Oliver Peoples

MARKING its 30th Anniversary, Oliver Peoples partnered with Alain Mikli, the French eyewear brand, to create a striking and avant-garde coloured capsule collection. Under this collaboration, the iconic glass frames such as the Gregory Peck have been reimagined by the use of Mikli’s ‘Palmier’ – palm tree pattern. oliverpeoples.com

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Feature

First Hotel

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VER the last 50 years, 139 people, mostly foreigners, lost their lives in eight hotel fires in Thailand, and several hundred people were seriously injured, mostly from smoke inhalation. Six of the fires occurred in Bangkok. In the provinces, in 1997 a fire at the Royal Jomtien Resort Hotel in Pattaya killed 91 people and injured 63, making it the deadliest hotel fire in Thai history. In 2012, three people died in a fire at Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel in Hat Yai. Bangkok fires causing fatalities occurred at the Imperial Hotel in 1971 (24 dead); Grace Hotel in 1985 (four dead); First Hotel in 1988 (13 dead); Amari Atrium Hotel in 2010 (one dead); Grand Park Avenue Hotel in 2012 (two dead); and the Grand Tower Inn in 2013 (one dead). To put things in perspective, 139 fatalities is about the average two-day death toll on Thai roads. Considering that at present there are more than 400 resorts and hotels in Bangkok and more than 1,200

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Heightened fire safety standards allow tourists to rest easier in Thai hotels By Maxmilian Wechsler

in other provinces, it’s not all that high. That does little to console the victims’ loved ones or make up for the terror experienced by the survivors. However, the deadly fires did prompt a lot of improvements in hotel fire safety standards in recent years. These include requirements for the installation of smoke and fire alarms, sprinklers and other fire prevention equipment. Emergency lighting systems and clearly marked fire exits

To put things in perspective, 139 fatalities is about the average two-day death toll on Thai roads.

FAMOUS STORIES FROM THE PAST

are also in place. In most establishments, fire drills and emergency training of hotel staff is now common. Moreover, construction codes now require that fire-resistant materials be used in the interior dĂŠcor and structural design of hotels and resorts. These and other measures are outlined in a legislative act passed by the government in 2007 called the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Act, B.E. 2550. The following list of some


hotel frequented mainly by tourists from the Middle East and spread to the 7th and 9th floors of the 300-room, 9-storey hotel. Thirty-eight rooms were destroyed and four people a Saudi man, two Arab women and one Thai woman died from smoke inhalation. Some tourists escaped from 8th-floor windows on knotted bed sheets and made it to the floor below, where they were able to reach a fireman’s ladder. It took firemen two hours to extinguish the blaze. Januar y 1, 1988 – First Hotel (Bangkok)

Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel

well-publicized hotel and resort fires from 1967 to July 2017 should serve as a reminder of how important it is to remain committed to today’s higher safety standards. The new emphasis on safety from both government and private sectors has undoubtedly made a difference, as witnessed by a decrease in the frequency of large fires in recent years along with a major reduction in fatalities, injuries and property damage. April 20, 1971 – Imperial Hotel (Bangkok) A predawn fire killed 24 people including six children at the Imperial, making it the second deadliest hotel fire in Thai history. Most of the guests in the 107-room hotel were Americans. The hotel was frequented by American diplomats and military officers and their families, as well as mostly European tourists. Witnesses said the fire smoke in the five-storey

hotel started around 4 am, apparently following an explosion in the ground floor coffee shop. Dozens of people tried desperately to escape the flames. Some jumped from the upper floors or climbed down on ropes made from knotted sheets. US Army medics from the 5th Field Hospital joined Thai police doctors in recovering charred bodies. The identification of bodies was made more difficult because the guest register was destroyed. According to survivors, no alarm was sounded, the firemen arrived late and fire escapes, if they existed, were next to impossible to find in the smoke and confusion. Three days after the fire, smoke was still coming from rooms on the top floors. September 26, 1985 – Grace Hotel (Bangkok) The fire started about 4 am on the 8th floor of the

According to survivors, no alarm was sounded, the firemen arrived late and fire escapes, if they existed, were next to impossible to find in the smoke and confusion.

At around 4.10am on New Year’s Day, a fire broke out in the 218room hotel killing 13 people, including 11 foreigners, and injuring 36 others. Some of the approximately 400 guests in the fully booked hotel were forced to jump from windows and rooftops or attempted to climb down the outside of the nine-storey hotel to escape flames and smoke.

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ietnameseAustralian guest grabbed onto the landing skids of a rescue helicopter but lost her grip and fell 100 feet to her death. The victims included citizens of Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and the US. Three helicopters rescued 30 people. It took 300 firemen and 57 fire vehicles five hours to extinguish the fire that did extensive damage to the hotel. Two Americans who survived the fire told US officials that the hotel appeared to have no emergency warning system. Other guests complained of a lack of fire-fighting equipment. One policeman described the prevention system as ‘antiquated, insufficient and not up to standards, even for a small fire.’ Another officer said that the fire may have been started by a shorted circuit or a discarded cigarette butt. The hotel’s night

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Feature Grand Park Avenue Hotel

manager said the fire started at a switchboard in a secondfloor room used for parties. He claimed that he had activated a fire alarm system.

midnight at the 43-storey, 255room hotel, at the time the tallest building in Bangkok. Some guests were trapped on top floors. There were no reported casualties, but guests got the scare of their lives.

July 11, 1997 – Royal Jomtien Resort Hotel (Pattaya) The fire in the 450-room, 17-storey hotel that left 91 people dead and around 63 injured, many seriously, apparently started around 10.20 am when a leaking gas cylinder ignited in a first-floor coffee shop. Many guests lost their lives after jumping from upper storeys. It took about 12 hours to extinguish the fire. Rescuers spent all night going through the burned rooms. Fire engines with high ladders were dispatched from Bangkok but arrived at the scene hours after the fire started. Three helicopters from Bangkok rescued lucky guests from the rooftop or windows.

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he hotel didn’t have sprinkler systems and survivors said they heard no fire alarms. The Minister of Interior, Snoh Thienthong, blamed the high number of deaths on hotel employees who locked emergency exits. Hotel staff reportedly started looking hotel fire exits to prevent guests from leaving the hotel without paying. Police said that most bodies were found near the locked emergency doors. Belgian, Hungarian and South Korean natives were among the dead. To compound the tragedy, 11 rescue workers were killed when their pick-up truck overturned as they raced to the scene. December 29, 2001 – The Ambassador Hotel (Bangkok) The fire began at night on the 4th floor and quickly spread to other floors, gutting the hotel. Thick black smoke was

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November 14, 2006 – Marine Plaza Hotel (Pattaya)

Fireman helped foreign guest overcome with smoke

The hotel didn’t have sprinkler systems and survivors said they heard no fire alarms. The Minister of Interior, Snoh Thienthong, blamed the high number of deaths on hotel employees who locked emergency exits.

coming from the building but remarkably no one was killed or injured. It took firemen four hours to bring the blaze under control. They succeeded in preventing the fire from jumping across narrow Sukhumvit Soi 13 to the Miami Hotel. Guests from both hotels poured out into the soi in a panic. The Ambassador could still be seen smouldering on the afternoon of the 30th. The Nation newspaper reported that arson was suspected.

The fire that started at a room on the 4th floor of the six-storey hotel injured six foreign guests. Three were injured after they climbed from their balconies and fell. The other three succumbed to the thick smoke and were taken to the hospital. Other foreigners trapped on balconies were rescued. The fire was put out within an hour. Four rooms were destroyed and at least 20 others damaged. A tourist from Oman who was staying in the room the fire allegedly originated was taken to Pattaya police station for questioning. June 15, 2007– The Jasmine Hotel (Pattaya)

An electric transformer that exploded outside the hotel before 1 pm caused a lot of smoke and a small fire at the hotel. Several guests were overcome by the smoke and one, an American man, fell from the 6th floor to the ground, breaking both feet and legs, pelvis and arms. He was treated at a local hospital for several weeks. At least one other foreigner was hospitalised.

The fire started around 2 am in room 403 on the 4th floor. When firemen arrived, heavy smoke was pouring from the room. Luckily the newly installed fire alarm worked properly and allowed guests enough time to escape from the building before the fire spread. The fire was put out within 30 minutes. No one was injured. Police determined that the fire started from the air-conditioning unit which the guest in room 403, a Brit, had left switched on while he was out. However, the hotel issued a statement in which they said among others: “The cause of the fire was that the guest’s luggage was placed directly on top of the electric hot plates in the room, with the plates turned on prior to leaving the room.”

April 26, 2005 –Baiyoke Suite Hotel (Bangkok)

September 5, 2007 – The Mandarin Hotel (Bangkok)

The fire started shortly after

The fire apparently started

Januar y 2004 – Sunbeam Hotel (Pattaya)


around midnight in a storeroom on the first floor of a 14-storey building in the Mandarin Bangkok complex. The complex also includes a seven-storey building, with 372 rooms total. There were about 500 guests in the hotel when the fire started. The fire quickly spread to other floors and many tourists were trapped. Firefighters encountered difficulties evacuating people due to narrow passages. Helicopters dispatched to the hotel could do no more than fly over because there was no place to land. Some 16 tourists were injured from smoke inhalation, most of them Japanese. Only one person, an Australian, was admitted to hospital. Firefighters calmed down several guests who wanted to jump from the upper floors and brought them to safety. Guests claimed that the water sprinklers didn’t work but the hotel management said otherwise. October 19, 2009 – Fairtex Sports Club & Hotel (Pattaya) It took firemen about an hour to completely douse a fire that started at around 9 am. Hotel staff quickly evacuated guests and there were no casualties. Investigators blamed the fire on an electrical short circuit in the sauna.

from smoke inhalation. The fire was quickly contained but resulted in the loss of a Thai hotel porter who died 90 minutes after helping rescue the BA crew. Reportedly the man suffered from breathing problems which contributed to his death. Police took the BA employees into custody; they were released after BA bosses and hotel management came to an agreement on compensation for the family of the deceased man. Pol Lt-Col Karuna said there was no need to light candles as there hadn’t been any power outage. April 29, 2011 – Jaopraya Resort (Pattaya)

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t took firemen 30 minutes to extinguish a fire in room 313 on the third floor of the resort. A Russian woman staying in the room was out when the fire started. The room was completely gutted but no damage was done to the rest of the hotel and there were no casualties. Police suspect the cause of the fire was an electrical short.

Februar y 2, 2010 – Phra Nang Inn (Krabi) Graceland Hotel Resort & Spa

A fire that started in a nearby laundry set the hotel on fire in the early morning, causing considerable damage to several rooms. The fire produced panic in guests but no casualties. June 2, 2010 – Amari Atrium Hotel (Bangkok) Two British Airways (BA) cabin crew accidentally started the fire in their room on the hotel’s 20th floor after leaving a lit candle on top of the television. After smoke alarms went off hotel staff forced their way into the room and rescued the two, who were sent to hospital suffering

December 6, 2011 – Pattaya Garden Hotel (Pattaya)

Two Russian tourists staying on the seventh floor died from smoke inhalation: a woman died at the scene and a man later passed away in the hospital.

the fourth floor in a function room of the 15-storey, 221room hotel shortly before 10 pm. When the fire brigade arrived, they found some foreigners screaming for help from the upper floors. Some guests wanted to jump from the windows but firemen convinced them to wait for cranes to rescue them. The fire was under control two hours later. Two Russian tourists staying on the seventh floor died from smoke inhalation: a woman died at the scene and a man later passed away in hospital. Twenty-one other foreigners and two Thai nationals were also overcome by smoke. All were transported to nearby hospitals. Police said the fire was most likely caused by an electrical short circuit. It was reported in the media on March 15 that according to the investigatory committee, among other infractions, the hotel had neither fire exits nor a smoke blocking system. March 31, 2012 – Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel (Hat Yai) A large car bomb caused the blaze that left one woman and two men dead and more than 300 injured at the popular five-star hotel and shopping centre in the largest city in southern Thailand. Most of

A fire that started around 3 am destroyed a laundry at the side of the hotel. It took fire crews about 30 minutes to extinguish the fire. The main hotel building apparently was left undamaged. Guests were running for their lives but there were no injuries. Once again, investigators determined that a short circuit was the cause of the fire. March 8, 2012 – Grand Park Avenue Hotel (Bangkok) The fire reportedly started on

Fireman helped guest to escape from the Grand Tower Hotel

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Feature the hotel management. He was found dead in a room on the third floor. The man left a message at his home in which he described a strong attachment to the hotel and said he was “ready to die with it”.

those injured suffered from smoke inhalation and cuts from shattered window glass. Some guests were injured after jumping from the building. There were also many injuries at the hotel’s large shopping arcade. In all 326 people were sent to five local hospitals; all but 28 were discharged quickly. Firemen evacuated hotel guests from upper floors with an extendable ladder. Some guests knotted sheets together to escape from lower floors. The car bomb exploded around 1 pm in the underground parking lot of the shopping mall and set off a large blaze which took dozens of firemen four hours to extinguish. December 26, 2012 – Royal Phawadee Village Resort (Phuket) The fire at the well-known luxury resort near Patong beach started around 5.30am. Ten fire engines dispatched from Patong and surrounding districts raced to the hotel. It took firemen about an hour to bring the fire under control. There were no casualties, although some foreign tourists who rushed out of the hotel lost all their possessions. Police said that about seven rooms were damaged, and five of these were gutted. The fire started in an electrical control room located between the Royal Phawadee and another hotel. A hotel security guard said he tried to put out the flames with an extinguisher but the fire quickly grew out of control. Januar y 1, 2013 – Ao Nang Buri Resort (Krabi)

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undreds of tourists staying at Ao Nang Buri Resort ran for their lives, most of them to the beach after a fire alarm sounded around 7 am. The fire started in the hotel’s boiler room where 10

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May 30, 2013 – Wiang Thong Hotel (Lampang) The fire alarm in this 11-storey luxury hotel in northern Thailand sounded at 3 am, creating sheer panic among the 100 or so tourists who fled as smoke engulfed the hotel. Some tourists were transported to hospitals after they inhaled smoke, but there were no serious injuries. According to police, the fire started in a restaurant on the first floor. The cause was apparently a shorted power cable of a refrigerator in the restaurant.

Royal Jomtien Resort Hotel

gas cylinders, each containing 16 kilogrammes of gas, were being stored. Local firemen put out the fire within 30 minutes and there were no casualties. Pol Capt Praphan said that “a hotel worker opened the valve on a gas cylinder so it could feed gas to the boiler, but it caught fire for some reason.” Januar y 27, 2013 – Grand Tower Inn (Bangkok) Ten fire trucks were dispatched to the eight-storey hotel after an alarm was raised around 2 am. When firemen arrived, thick smoke was billowing from several floors of the hotel. Cranes were used to rescue foreign guests who called for help from their room balconies. It took firemen an hour to gain control of the fire. Eleven foreigners were hospitalised for smoke inhalation. Three of them were treated in ICU. An investigation revealed that the fire started simultaneously in eight places. It was allegedly set by a Thai hotel employee who, according to police, had personal conflicts with

July 22, 2013 – Gold Beach Resort (Koh Chang)

Ten fire trucks were dispatched to the eight-storey hotel after an alarm was raised around 2 am.

According to media reports, the fire started on the third floor of the resort at 7 pm. Tourists were rescued from the building by fire fighters. It is suspected that the fire was due to an unidentified short-circuit. December 19, 2013 – Graceland Hotel Resort and Spa (Phuket) At around 1.30pm a fire started in the laundry facility of the resort after some cleaning fluid caught fire. Five fire engines arrived and the firefighters were able to get the situation under control in a short time, assisted also by volunteer rescue workers. Thai staff were evacuated and no injuries were reported. December 30, 2013 – Kaen Inn Hotel (Khon Kaen) A fire that started at 9.30pm on the first floor of the 11-storey, 160-room luxury hotel spread quickly to the fifth floor,


destroying 20 rooms. Police suspect an electrical cause. It took around 20 trucks two hours to bring the fire under control. All guests and staff were evacuated, with 10 people slightly injured from smoke inhalation and from slipping and falling during the evacuation. Fortunately, most hotel guests in the affected rooms were outside the hotel at the time of the fire.

been evacuated when firemen arrived. It took 20 minutes to contain the fire which started in the room occupied by an Arab man who was out at the time. Police suspect the fire might have been caused by an unextinguished cigarette butt.

Februar y 25, 2014 – Koh Sriboya Resort (Krabi)

small fire that started around 3 am was extinguished by firemen within 20 minutes. Heavy smoke was reported throughout the building. An American guest sustained a head injury while trying to climb down the side of the building and was sent to the hospital. The fire allegedly started at the reception desk due to a faulty electrical system.

Januar y 3, 2015 – Hollywood Beach Hotel (Phuket)

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Thirty-five of the 40 bamboo bungalows at the small island resort were destroyed in a twohour fire that started shortly before 8 pm, probably due to a short circuit. As there was little fire-fighting equipment on the island, villagers, hotel staff and the Russian tourists staying at the resort collected water from the sea to douse the flames. No one was hurt and the tourists were transported the same night to Phuket.

March 10, 2015 – Rome Hotel (Pattaya)

March 20, 2014 – Apex Hotel (Pattaya) A fire started at 1.30am in a storage room on top of the seven-storey hotel. The fire alarm apparently didn’t sound, but fortunately, there were no casualties. Guests were evacuated as a precaution but some remained sleeping until the hotel staff apparently began knocking on doors hours later. Several fire units from the Pattaya fire brigade extinguished the blaze within an hour. The cause of the fire was once again believed to be an electrical short. December 9, 2014 – iCheck Inn Silom (Bangkok) No one was injured in a fire that started at the boutique hotel around 5.45am. Thick smoke was coming from a room on the 2nd floor of the four-storey hotel and the guests, mostly Middle Eastern tourists, had already

Around 200 hotel guests, mostly Chinese nationals, were evacuated after a fire broken at 2.30am in a basement laundry room of the hotel. One person was injured and some rooms were damaged.

A hot water appliance shortcircuited, causing a fire that was extinguished by several police volunteers with fire extinguishers before firemen arrived. There were no injuries. July 3, 2015 – JPK Mansion hotel (Sakhon Nakhon) A fire that broke out at night at the downtown Sakhon Nakhon hotel forced all guests to flee the 120-room, five-storey building. The building was full of smoke and some guests were overcome, but there were no serious injuries. About a dozen fire trucks arrived and quickly had the situation under control. The cause of the fire was not determined. September 10, 2015 – The Sukprasert hotel (Pattaya) Firemen had the fire which started around 11.45pm under

control very quickly. No deaths or injuries were reported. June 6, 2016 – Lewiinski’s Hotel and Restaurant (Pattaya) Firefighting crews rushed to the popular hotel in the afternoon as smoke was coming out from the top floors. The blaze was put out in a short time and no casualties were reported. August 23, 2016 – Hotel name unknown (Pattaya) Smoke was coming from a room on the 4th floor of the fourstorey building which had been converted to a three-star hotel. All guests were evacuated before Pattaya firefighters arrived. It took them about 20 minutes to put out the fire. No one was injured. November 7, 2016 – Tarin Hotel (Chiang Mai) Around 200 hotel guests, mostly Chinese nationals, were evacuated after a fire broke out at 2.30am in a basement laundry room of the hotel. One person was injured and some rooms were damaged. About 12 fire units dispatched to the scene had the fire neutralised within an hour. Some guests on the 6th and 7th floors were forced to take refuge on the roof because smoke prevented them from escaping down the stairs. Firefighters rescued them without incident. June 29, 2017 – Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit Shortly after midnight, a fire started on the 6th floor of the five-star hotel and hundreds of guests were evacuated. Within about 20 minutes firefighters had control of the fire, which was reportedly caused by a short circuit originating in a room used for both running electric cables and disposing of garbage. No one was injured.

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DIPLOMATS p Meet the people uniting nations

H.E. Jaime Nualart

Ambassador introducing Thailand to la Cultura de MĂŠxico

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Diplomats: His Excellency Jaime Nualart

Ambassador introducing Thailand to la Cultura de México

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Words MAXMILIAN WECHSLER

is Excellency Jaime Nualart began his term as Mexican Ambassador to Thailand in June 2016. He has since worked tirelessly to boost bilateral trade, investment and tourism, and he puts an emphasis on cultural exchanges. The ambassador outlined professional priorities and gave some interesting personal insights in a recent conversation with The BigChilli at his residence, which is beautifully decorated with paintings and sculptures by Mexican artists. At the start of the interview, he provided a brief sketch of his distinguished 35-year foreign service record. “I was born in Mexico City, studied at the National University of Mexico and worked for the Mexican cultural sector before starting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). I have travelled extensively and had the privilege of been posted in beautiful, culturally rich countries like Thailand. I was posted to Japan in 1982 early in my diplomatic career, then India, Italy, Belgium and back to Mexico. After working in my home country for a while, I was appointed an ambassador to Egypt, then I went to India for the second time. Now I am happily in Thailand. “The term for Mexican ambassadors is usually three or four years. India was an exception for me” said Mr Nualart, who besides his native Spanish is fluent in English, Italian and, according to him, “manages” to communicate also in French. He also learnt basic Japanese when he was posted there many years ago. “I am the first in my family to enter government and diplomatic service. My father worked for oil companies and my mother taught at an academic institution in Mexico. At some stages of my career service, I have worked for what is now the Ministry of Culture as well as the MFA. You can see from my resume that my professional life has always been a bit of a mix between culture and diplomacy. “I belong to a generation that believed very much in

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social commitments, and it was my choice to work for my country through the government positions I have held. A main focus in the international arena has been to promote Mexico as an investments destination and Mexican culture abroad,” said the ambassador. He added that he is very pleased to now be facilitating trade and cultural exchanges with Thailand, a country with which he has a long and fond relationship. “The first time I visited Thailand was in 1983. At the time I was posted in Japan. Besides Hong Kong, which I knew from previous experiences, my first trip in Asia outside of Japan was to Thailand. I had always been very curious about the Kingdom of Siam and I wanted to see what modern-day Thailand was like. From here I went to Bali. I came back to Thailand in 2000 when I was DirectorGeneral for Cultural Affairs at the MFA. I organised an exhibition of Mexican antiquities in the National Museum here in Bangkok. “During my two different posts or ‘avatars’ in India, I travelled very often to Thailand. I made many friends here. I have always really liked this country and I enjoy very much being here now.

Diplomatic relations “Thailand and Mexico established diplomatic relations in 1975 and bilateral relations have always been cordial and friendly since then. We have many similarities and share several common views in multilateral issues”, Mr Nualart said. “Thailand opened an embassy in Mexico City in 1978 and we opened our embassy in Bangkok in 1989. Before that, we had an honorary consul in Thailand in the person of Khunying Pornthip Narongdej, Chairperson of KPN Group, to promote business and cultural exchanges. Her son, Khun Nop, now holds that position and is very helpful and dedicated to promoting further understanding between our two countries, through culture. The ambassador summarised his main priorities: “Political dialogue; we have a mechanism for political consultations between Mexico and Thailand, but we want


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Kukulkan Piramid at Chichen Itza archeological site- one of the 7 Wonders of the Contemporary World-2

The ambassador said his schedule is quite diverse in the sense that each day has its own challenges, but for the most part, he keeps to a certain routine. “I wake up very early in the morning and the first thing I always do is check my mail and news and see what has happened overnight. There is a 12-hour difference so morning here is late afternoon and night in Mexico. Then I go to the gym, take a bath and get ready for the office. Once there I usually review whatever is pending in the usual areas covered by any embassy – political, consular and different aspects of cooperation like science, technology, education, culture and so on. “The embassy devotes a great deal of time to promoting business and attracting investment. We give support to Mexican companies and individuals who invest or wish to invest here and do the same for Thai investors interested in Mexico. Late in the afternoon, I come back home, and if I have time I may have a swim since in the evenings there is always an official dinner or reception to host or to attend. This is part of the job as well. “All my business meetings are held in my office unless it is a business lunch or I pay calls on ministers, directors of institutions, entrepreneurs, company executives and so on, although sometimes these people visit us as well.

Trade and tourism Tulum archeological site at the Mayan Riviera

to expand them to include more discussion on ways and means to increase and diversify our trade and attract more investments from Thailand to Mexico. We are very much focused on identifying new, different topics of common interest to both countries and we are working towards bringing them together. “These key areas are food security, health policies and environmental issues, as well as those focused on strengthening our political ties. Finally, as I have said, promoting cultural and educational exchange activities is very important to us and to government officials on the Thai side as well. What I also want to achieve during my term as ambassador is to help bring about a closer dialogue between our two countries, since Thailand is Mexico’s 13th biggest international trade partner” said the ambassador, noting that trade between Mexico and Thailand amounts to more than US$6 billion per year.

Embassy “The embassy staff comprises four diplomats including myself and 10 very efficient and committed Thais who are all proficient in Spanish. When we recruit a Thai employee, one of the criteria is that he or she must speak Spanish. This is practical since it is the official Mexican language and all documents that come from Mexico are in Spanish. Our young Thai colleagues normally speak English as well, which is a big advantage for them as well as for the embassy,” said Mr Nualart. He added that at present there is no Mexican law enforcement liaison attached to the embassy.

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s I mentioned before, Thailand is now our 13th largest trading partner. I want to not only increase trade but also to diversify it. What we trade in now is mostly electronic components and manufactured goods such as smart phones, automobiles and auto parts. Our exports to and imports from Thailand are mostly in the same sectors I mentioned. Therefore, my hope is to expand trade into other sectors, including energy and agriculture. “Mexico, like Thailand, is a hub for automotive manufacturing. All the major global manufacturers have plants in Thailand, and this is true of Mexico as well. We are the seventh biggest manufacturer of cars in the world and the 4th biggest exporter. These days the manufacturing industry depends heavily on global value chains for international trade. For example, many specific models might be finalised in Thailand, but the parts may come from China, Mexico or someplace else. The largest Mexican investor in Thailand is a company called Metalsa. They manufacture chassis for trucks at a plant close to Rayong. “One Mexican business operating here that is very interesting is a franchise called KidZania located in Siam Paragon. It is an amazing entertainment and education park for children that allow them to play the role of adults in a working environment. There is a wide variety of professions to choose from. The experience helps children to develop essential life skills such as money management, decision making and teamwork. “As for Thai investments in Mexico, one example is Indorama which manufactures PET resins and fibres. “For me, tourism is a very interesting aspect of bilateral relations. Nowadays all the world is reachable. Mexico is only one stopover from Thailand. You can fly from


Bangkok to Paris, London or Amsterdam and then to Mexico; or from Bangkok to Tokyo, Seoul, Guangzhou, or Shanghai and then straight to Mexico. I want to increase tourism both ways. More than 15,000 Mexicans come to Thailand every year and about 2,500 Thais make the trip to Mexico. Visas are needed on both sides. We are negotiating with the Thai government to expedite the visa process. “Mexican tourists who come to this part of the world have a problem in visiting Thailand without a visa. Mexican’s ether does not need a visa to travel to other countries in the region, or they can get a visa on arrival. This is not the case here. Many Mexicans who visit Malaysia or Indonesia, for example, think they can make a stop here but they are turned away or forced to leave when they come without a visa. This is one consular problem we are facing and in which we are working to reach a bilateral agreement on the matter. I am sure that we will sort out the problem with the Thai authorities. “Another thing the embassy deals with is unfortunate accidents that involve Mexican natives on the roads or at the beach. Recently we assisted a lady who fell off a motorcycle, a family who were in a road accident and a man who was injured while scuba diving. “There are about 350 Mexicans living in Thailand who are registered with the embassy. However, there might be more Mexicans who have been living in Thailand. Mexican citizens here may be entrepreneurs, restaurant owners or work for Thai, Mexican or multinational companies.”

H.E. Jaime Nualart with Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha Photo: Thai Rath

Cultural campaigns “In the time I have been here I’ve been very active in the cultural arena as well. One event I am proud to have helped bring to Bangkok is an exhibition by a Mexican sculptor Ploma Torres, held at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. We present Mexican movies on a regular basis with the Thai Film Archive and Thai Film Festivals, with whom we have very good relationships. “Other cultural events include a Mexican jazz singer performing at the Bangkok Jazz Festival last January and a Mexican classical violin player who performed solo with the Thai Philharmonic Orchestra at Prince Mahidol Hall. A large sculpture called ‘The Wings of Mexico’ was successfully exhibited at Lumpini Park for five months and attracted thousands of people who interacted with the art piece and took pictures and videos, participated in contests and managed to have wings in the city of angels.

Fine Arts Palace in Mexico City

Cancun Punta from the air

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Ambassador Nualart and Minister of Tourism and Sports, Mrs Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul

“The latest cultural event sponsored by the embassy was an exhibition of works by four contemporary Mexican artists, Betsabee Romero, Alfredo de Stefano, Maria Jose de la Macorra and Enrique Rosas, held at the National Gallery in Bangkok from July 6-30. The opening of the exhibition on July 5 was attended by high-ranking Thai officials and dignitaries as well as several ambassadors and other distinguished guests. “Another thing I want to mention is the Latin band performing at the Rembrandt Hotel. This is the only genuine Mexican band based in Thailand,” said Ambassador Nualart.

Similarities

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he ambassador said the weather in Bangkok is not a problem for him since it can also get quite warm in Mexico City. “But while Bangkok is usually warm most of the year, in Mexico City we have four seasons. It can be very hot and dry in the summer, usually cold in the winter and in spring and autumn the temperature is usually mild. In the north of Mexico, it can get dramatically hot or cold; in the south, the weather is similar to Thailand – warm and humid most of the time. “What else is similar between our two countries? The traffic and the fast pace of life in Mexico City and Bangkok. Much the same as Thais, Mexicans like to eat all day. Not only breakfast, lunch and dinner, but we also eat between meals. We are also fond of our street food, like Thais. Thai food is very well known all around the world and the same is true of Mexican food. “You can find good Mexican restaurants in many cities around the world. Mexican gastronomy has been recognised by UNESCO as part of the world’s cultural heritage. Actually, some key ingredients of contemporary Thai food came originally from Mexico, like chillies and tomatoes. “Mexico City has at least five Thai restaurants that I know of. There are definitely more Mexican restaurants in Bangkok. About 12 ‘real’ Mexican restaurants are here and many more Tex-Mex restaurants. Mexican Corona beer is very well-known here and trendy all over the world. It is brewed and bottled in Mexico. There are also two spirits that originate from Mexico that is known over the world: one is tequila and the other is mezcal. Both are distilled from the agave plant and both are available in Thailand in liquor shops, bars and restaurants.

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“Another similarity is that Thais are very family oriented as are Mexicans. Mexican families tend to get together for certain occasions and they stay close as a matter of tradition,” Ambassador Nualart said. “Mexico City is even bigger than Bangkok. As someone pointed out to me recently, I have almost always lived in a big urban centre. I came here from New Delhi; before that, I was in Cairo. Early in my career, I was posted to Tokyo, and now I’m in Bangkok. It seems that the ‘karma’ of traffic follows me. It’s not such a problem for me here. My residence is on Wireless Road and my office is not far away, on South Sathorn Road. Being based in the centre of Bangkok is an advantage.” Ambassador Nualart said that all in all he feels quite comfortable in Thailand, and he believes Thais will find much to like if they give Mexico a chance. “I want Thai people to become more acquainted with Mexico, visit Mexico, get to know our people. We have many things in common. We want to have more tourists and investment from Thailand in Mexico. Let’s get closer, let’s get to know each other better, let’s make more business together and let’s promote our respective cultures together.”

Professional Background of H.E. Jaime Nualart • Jaime Nualart is a Mexican diplomat who served as Ambassador of his country to India, from 2009 till March 2015 and was simultaneously accredited as Ambassador to Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. • From January 2006 to July 2009, he served as Ambassador of Mexico to Egypt while also accredited as Ambassador to Syria, Sudan and Jordan. • Before moving to Egypt, Ambassador Nualart served from 2004-2005 as Executive Secretary of the National Council for Culture and the Arts of Mexico (Mexico’s Ministry of Culture), and as Director General for International Affairs of the same institution from 2001-2003. • Ambassador Nualart has also held different positions at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs such as Director General for Culture and Educational Cooperation (1998-2000), in which capacity he presided and participated in more than 100 bilateral and multilateral meetings with countries in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. • As a diplomat, he also served in various positions in Mexican embassies around the world: Belgium (1994-1995), Italy (19941995), India (1987-1989) and Japan (1982-1987). • Ambassador Nualart was appointed as the first President of the Inter-American Commission for Culture in the Organization of American States OAS and Co-Chairman of the MexicanAmerican Garcia Robles-Fulbright Scholarship Committee, he was also Mexico’s Representative to the Cultural Committee of the European Council in Strasbourg, and in October 2005, Ambassador Nualart was elected President of UNESCO’s Cultural Commission during the 33rd General Conference in Paris, France, where the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions was adopted. • During his professional career he has collaborated in publications on international cooperation such as: “The new Mexican policy of International Cooperation”; “The Challenges of International Cooperation”; “Mexican Cultural Promotion as an instrument of Foreign Policy” and “Mexican Diplomacy and Cultural Co-operation: An approach, a Reflection From the Arab World”, among others. • Ambassador Nualart has received prestigious decorations from the governments of Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal and Colombia.


Social

p Last month’s best events in pictures

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Celebrating 1 year anniversary at CHAR Bangkok

CHAR Restaurant and Rooftop Bar, Bangkok’s hottest restaurant and bar located on the rooftop of Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road, celebrated its first anniversary with special complimentary amuse bouche from the talented Chef de Cuisine, Nicolas Ramirez, live entertainment from Suay The Voice, Live DJ from Bangkok Invaders with complimentary welcome cocktail for all guests.

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Celebrating under the stars

MEMBERS of German-Thai Chamber of Commerce (GTCC) together with their spouses, friends and business partners participated in the GTCC Gala Night 2017 themed ‘Celebrating under the Stars’ at Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok. H.E. Peter Prugal, German Ambassador to Thailand, delivered congratulatory speeches on succuessful German-Thai economic cooperation and mutual friendship. The congratulation was also in order for GTCC for its 55th Anniversary and acknowledged its significant contribution to the successful development of the German-Thai economic relations.

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Bringing Belgians together at Brewski

VENUES’ talented Chef Thomas Smith created a Belgian traditional menu including the iconic Moules Frites (mussels and fries) in celebration of the Belgian National Day at Brewski.

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Levels Club & Lounge 5th anniversary

LEVELS Club & Lounge celebrated its 5th anniversary with a new concept ‘Life in Color’ – the new theme concept for Friday nights on the eve of the club’s 5th anniversary with an array of entertainment lined up.

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Special Jazz Night at Dream Hotel Bangkok

DREAM Hotel Bangkok welcomed the return of a wellknown French Jazz & Bossa vocalist, Aude Lhotelais, for her live performance at Flava Restaurant & Bar.

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AMBAR pool party

ANOTHER month’s installation of the popular and fun day by the pool at amBar Pool Party at Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok, Sukhumvit 15. Guests enjoyed an array of refreshments, classic poolside bites and an awesome line-up of DJs.

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Grand President Open House 2017

GRAND President Hotel by Kingston Hotels Group Sukhumvit 11 showcased its newly renovated rooms at Tower II with the celebratory dinner party.

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Fly Beyond Tonight campaign launched by Grey Goose

BACARDI (Thailand) – the importer and distributor of GREY GOOSE the world’s super premium vodka – launched the ‘FLY BEYOND TONIGHT’ campaign celebration with people in music and fashion industries attended to celebrate the new clubbing experience.

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Hotel Art Fair Bangkok 2017

FOLLOW the phenomenal success of previous installations of art exhibition in the hotel guest rooms, Farmgroup, the leading firm in design consultancy and an art enthusiast, treated all art lovers with the fourth edition of ‘Hotel Art Fair Bangkok 2017’ with support from Tourism Authority of Thailand at Volve Hotel Bangkok, Sukhumvit Soi 53.

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The more you taste, the more you find

DIAGEO Moët Hennessy (Thailand) Ltd (DMHT) in collaboration with the British Embassy hosted ‘Discovering the Taste of Malts with The Singleton of Glen Ord’, a food and whisky pairing dinner to introduce the award-winning range of Singleton of Glen Ord single malt Scotch whiskies at the Residence, British Embassy.

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Social|Last Month’s Best Events

G Session Denim Party x Indigoskin

PULLMAN Bangkok Hotel G hosted its G Session Denim Party in collaboration with Indigoskin – Thailand denim brand premium quality jeans. This is the latest in a series of G Session parties that are the calendar highlights for Bangkok’s young and fashion-conscious crowd.

Gaysorn Elite

GAYSORN Village – a unique urban village offering rich shopping experiences in downtown Bangkok hosted an exclusive party to launch the newest membership programme, ‘GAYSORN ELITE’, offering Elite privileges with the nonstop happy hours at Gaysorn Village concept.

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An evening of Jazz and Cocktails

AN evening of Jazz and Cocktails for Fete de la Music at L’Appart, featuring European Jazz Diva Malene Mortenssen.

Brilliance night with Swarovski

SWAROVSKI, the high-end jewellery brand, hosted the ‘Brilliance for All’ regional event at the Great Room, W Hotel and at the House on Sathorn to celebrate Swarovski’s heritage and the launch of the new Fall/ Winter 2017 ‘Urban Fantasy’ collection. TheBigChilli 113


Social|Last Month’s Best Events

Rendezvous’s happy decade celebrated

THE Landmark Bangkok celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Rendezvous Bar, popular venue for wine tastings, cocktail parties and musical evenings.

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Champagne at Aldo’s

Aldo’s Bistro hosted a Grower Champagne dinner featuring five courses of outstanding fare personally selected and prepared by Chef Herve Frerard, and matched with a different Grower Champagne. The menu included caviar and Alaskan crab, Hokkaido sea urchin, wild Atlantic cod, Iberian baby lamb and raspberry tart. Guests who enjoyed an exceptional evening included Ms Rika Dila, a former golf champion and restaurateur.

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Social|Last Month’s Best Events

SIAM SINDHORN LAUNCHED SUPER-LUXURY CONDOMINIUMS

SIAM Sindhorn launched its brand new midtown properties titled ‘Sindhorn Langsuan’ and ‘Sindhorn Tonson.’ Setting a new standard of premium urban living lifestyle in Thailand’s real estate industry, the prime location boasts outstanding design overlooking Lumpini Park.

WILD NIGHT PRESENTS AUSTRALIA’S ‘THUNDER FROM DOWN UNDER’ THE Australian all-male dance team is coming to Bangkok at Moon Star Studio 8 from August 30-September 5, 2017. Special nights are reserved for a Girls’ Night Outback (September 4), and a Gay’s Night Outback (September 5). Tickets prices starting from B2,500 with 10% discount early bird if purchased before July 18, 2017. 116

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SIAM ORGANIC WON CHIVAS VENTURE GLOBAL FINALS THAILAND’S Siam Organic won US400,000 funding from Chivas Venture. The Thailand’s startup with the aim to end small-scale farmers’ poverty has successfully pitched in front of a star-studded live audience including Hollywood sensations Javier Bardem and Don Cheadle with an award ceremony by philanthropist and businesswoman Halle Berry in Los Angeles.

PIONEERING THE LG OLED TV G7T SERIES LG Electronics (Thailand) Co., Ltd., reinforced its global leadership in premium TV technology with the launch of LG OLED TV G7T series, boasting Perfect Colour on Perfect Black quality offering realistic colours that will elevate the home entertainment experience.

SIAM PIWAT LAUNCHED SIAM FOOD FESTIVAL

SHOWCASING an array of famous food dishes in Siam area, the Siam Food Festival brought outstanding dishes including meat dishes, desserts, and a wide range of Thai fruits to show at the event with a special surprise featuring the iconic Tuk Tuk of Bangkok.

SIAM PARAGON WATCH EXPO 2017

IN a collaboration between Siam Piwat and The Mall Group, top watch brands presented ‘Siam Paragon Watch Expo 2017’. The expo presents the latest innovations of timepieces under the concept ‘The Legendary Timepieces’ showcasing over 180 world class brands and updates on global watch trends. The event will be held from July 24 to 15 August 15, 2017, at Siam Paragon. TheBigChilli 117


Hua Hin

AL Bahr Beach Bar at Marrakesh Hua  Hin Resort & Spa brings you Buy One Get

One Free Cocktail Happy Hours available daily between 5-7 pm. Enjoy the exotic flavours with al fresco easy-listening music and live band today. 032 616 777. marrakeshresortandspa.com

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01 Cocktail happy hours 02 Farewell Symphony 03 The Rainy Day Special promotion 04 International Jazz Festival

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DUSIT Thani Hua Hin is hosting a special Culinary Classics concert under the baton  of Lep Phillips, who will perform a ‘Farewell Symphony’ to pay a fitting tribute to His Late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The concert will be held on August 18, 2017, from 6.30pm. Ticket price starting at B800 per person. 032 520 009 ext 2013. Dusit.com/dusitthani/huahin

BANYAN the Resort Hua Hin offers  a special promotion to welcome the rainy

season. The ‘Rainy Day Special’ includes two days one-night stay with breakfast for two persons with 60-minute Thai or oil massage for one person per room priced at B4,999 for 1-bedroom private pool villa and B6,199 for 2-bedroom private pool villa. The promotion ends September 30, 2017. 032 538 888. banyanthailand.com

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CENTARA Grand Beach Resort &  Villas Hua Hin hosted the International

Jazz Festival in collaboration with Hua Hin Municipality and the Tourism Authority of Thailand. This festival was to pay tribute to the musical compositions of the late King Bhumibhol Adulyadej as well as to promote Hua Hin as a destination for all jazz lovers. 032 511 014. centarahotelsresorts.com


The SIS Kata

MATES’ RATES Friends or Family

THE SIS Kata Resort is offering special rates for guests staying from June 19 to October 31, 2017. Prices start from B2,199 to B8,799 per person per night for its six luxurious room types which include SIS on the hill, SIS over the pool, SIS over the garden, SIS Jacuzzi pool, SIS over the sea, SIS studio, and The SIS Suite. 076 609 555. thesiskata.com

visiting Thailand? Let them know about these deals

A taste of Italy at Ristorante Venezia

OFFERING a memorable evening of authentic Italian cuisine at Ristorante Venezia with the threecourse gastronomic journey with two options for each course priced at B980++ per person or B1,800++ per person with matching wines. 075 627 800. sofitelkrabiphokeethra.com/ restaurants-bars/venezia-restaurantitalian-restaurant

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Best Western Rewards

UNTIL the end of September 2017, all Best Western Rewards members receive 2x the reward points when they book a stay at any Best Western hotel in Asia. The points can be redeemed for more room nights and other benefits in the future. The bookings must be made either directly with the hotel or via Best Western’s website. 02 656 1260. bestwesternhotelasia.com


Rooftop romance in Bangkok

UNTIL the end of October 2017, Compass SkyView Hotel is offering a special promotion for couples. Enjoy a luxurious suite with complimentary benifits including a bottle of Prosecco at Vanilla Sky Roof Top Bar, rose petal bath, and daily buffet breakfast for two. Priced at B5,000 per night with a minimum purchase of two nights. 02 011 1111. compassskyviewhotel.com/offers/ rooftop-romance

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

Special family moments at Centara Grand at CentralWorld

Escape Khao Yai promotion

SPECIAL discount packages for guests who book a stay at Escape Khao Yai Hotel from August 21-31 receive up to 55% discount at Thai Teaw Thai Fair. Packages include one night’s stay in the Deluxe room with breakfast for two priced at B3,400 and Seafood Platter set for two priced at B850. Or enjoy BBQ set and semi-buffet for two at B1,200. 063 196 4999. escape-hotel.com

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SPECIAL family package at CENTARA Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld. The ‘Family Discoveries’ package priced at B6,100++ per night per room until the end of 2017. The package includes the superior world room, daily buffet for a family of four, an extra bed or a cot for children and more. 02 100 1234 ext 6753-4. centarahotelsresorts.com/ centaragrand/cgcw


Anantara Hua Hin CSR programme ANANTARA Hua Hin Resort team members and hotel guests took part in the CSR programme, Soap for Hope – a soap recycling workshop and donation of the reused soap bars to local school children.

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COAST CO PATTAYA

HILTON Pattaya announced it has ƒ been named ‘Thailand’s Leading Lifestyle

Hotel 2017’ from 24th Annual World Travel Awards 2017 – globally recognised as the ultimate hallmark of travel, tourism and hospitality industry. 038 253 000. pattaya.hilton.com

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01 Hilton Pattaya wins Thailand’s Leading Lifestyle Hotel 2017 award 02 Hard Rock Pattaya charcoal BBQ 03 Lobster Phad Thai at Radius Restaurant 04 Bigger and better buffet HARD Rock Hotel Pattaya ƒ presents ‘The Great Charcoal

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BBQ Buffet’ – a feast of fresh charcoal grilled prime meats and seafood with a special themed dinner buffet every night. The selection of delicious meat includes beef, pork, chicken, lamb, seafood include prawn, fish, squid, crab and vegetables and more. Enjoy the hearty meal priced only at B788 per person available from Sunday to Thursday and B1,299 per person on Friday and Saturday. 038 428 755-9 ext 8323. facebook. com/HardRockHotelPattaya

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RADIUS restaurant brings you a „ special ‘Phad Thai’ menu. Relish the

mouthwatering tastes with fresh lobster cooked with Phad Thai noodles in Tamarind sauce served with vegetables and mashed beans at B1,199++ per plate. 038 933 888. capedarapattaya.com

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THE dinner buffet at Ginger & Lime,  Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya just got bigger and better with an array of new dishes added to this already enormous spread of Thai, Japanese and Asian specials. Priced at B888++, both indoor and outdoor seating are available. 038 714 981. centarahotelsresorts.com/ centaragrand/cmbr


OCEAN MARINA PATTAYA BOAT SHOW 2017 To be held on November 23-26, 2017, this year’s Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show organised by Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Pattaya is something to look forward to

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THE Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show has more than quadrupled in size since its inception in 2012 and with good reason. Thailand has become one of Asia’s hottest cruising grounds for boat builders, dealers and brokers from all around the world. In late 2015, the Thai government announced plans to allow foreignflagged superyachts to charter in Thai waters and with this support, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, Tourism Authority of Thailand and Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show have become a platform to support Thailand’s growing yachting industry.

During the four-day event, visitors can attend various social and sporting activities including cocktail and networking parties, seminars, free cruises and water sports events. This year’s event looks to be packed full of interesting activities including business networking events, seminars, workshops, fishing competition, and fun activities suitable for children. www.oceanmarinapattayaboatshow.com


Host of the Optimist World Championships 2017

With 60 year’s of sailing history in the kingdom, the Royal Varuna Yacht Club welcomes all sailors and participants to the Optimist World Championships July 11th - 21st, 2017


The BigChilli AUG 2017  

Thailand's best-read expat magazine. Find out what's hot in Bangkok and beyond. August 2017.

The BigChilli AUG 2017  

Thailand's best-read expat magazine. Find out what's hot in Bangkok and beyond. August 2017.