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Publisher’s blog

Memories of supermodel Yui and the man who helped her to the top

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hanks to Nic Dunlop, an award-winning Bangkok-based photographer and writer, for his welcome reminder of Yui, a young lady from the Northeast whose good looks took her from total obscurity to international celebrity - “Thailand’s First Supermodel.” In the mid-1990s, Rojjana ‘Yui’ Phetkanha was spotted at a noodle stall in Bangkok, writes Nic in the Sunday Times. Just two years later she was strutting the catwalks of London, Paris and New York. She also appeared on the covers of leading magazines and in Chanel ads. A constant companion during the early part of her career here in Thailand was an enigmatic Australian expat businessman named Ray Eaton, who encouraged Yui in her amazing rise to stardom. The pair eventually became automatic invitees to the best social gatherings, with members of Bangkok’s hi-so society making a rare exception for having a simple Isarn girl in their midst. When Yui first went overseas, Ray would visit her. Ray, a great friend of mine, passed away some years back. He was without question one of life’s genuine ‘nice blokes’, a successful entrepreneur who never forgot his own simple background and was always ready to help others. He overcame several personal setbacks in Thailand but remained cheerful and optimistic throughout. It’s probably fair to say Yui would have found stardom far more elusive without Ray’s attention. In his article, Nic says Yui fell foul of drugs while overseas and returned to Thailand penniless. Happily, she has made a recov-

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ery and lives a humble life in Bangkok. It’s good to hear about Yui and to recall the man who helped her most.

Voranai’s gloomy forecast

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oranai Vanijaka is a straight-shooting Thai journalist, so his role as a key speaker at the recent British Chamber of Commerce of Thailand’s panel discussion luncheon was much anticipated. His view of the country’s political landscape is somewhat gloomy. He reckons that the general elections are more likely to be held in February 2018 than in November this year, as promised by the Prayuth government. And the outcome will be all too familiar, with many of the old guard (Voranai named some and described their family businesses as gangsters) back in control. This will happen, he continued, despite or because of the new constitution which is not designed to return Thailand to full democracy as it will allow the armed forces to intervene in politics. Years ago, an extremely wise Thai lady who had held senior positions in government and commerce for more than five decades took a great deal of delight in shooting me down whenever I talked excitedly about the sweeping political changes I imagined were taking place in Thailand. She was so right. Voranai too.

Nearly enough of Facebook

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y slightly belated New Year’s resolution – to spend less time on Facebook. For me it’s grown from an entertaining distraction to a major source of news, breaking the near-monopoly of traditional media and giving a voice to anyone with a story to tell. But it’s also become an increasingly dangerous and even toxic place to visit,


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, Maxmilian Wechsler, Kelly Iverson, Joseph Henry

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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.

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Publisher’s blog as far as I am concerned. Apart from spreading the fake news (yes, I have been fooled), it has massive influence on a scale the world has never witnessed. Recently I asked a senior diplomat whether Hillary Clinton would have faced the same barrage of media criticism, spread mostly by Facebook and other social media if she’d been voted President as the incumbent Donald Trump now faces. Diplomatically, he declined to answer such a hypothetical question but suggested that unprecedented attention by social media is playing a huge part in the sheer volume of that criticism. The next POTUS should be prepared. There’s no doubt that social media is responsible for emboldening people to speak their mind and to join protests and rallies on myriad issues, some silly, other serious. Unfortunately, their passion often turns to anger and confrontation, which is clearly not good for social stability. The future looks extremely challenging, and much of it is due to the influence of this out-of-control new media. On a personal basis, I have been attacked by certain FB ‘friends’ for merely posting items without comment (I leave others to come to their own conclusion). As a consequence, they’ve been unfriended for making totally unwarranted accusations of me being “alt-right” and “fascist” while scorning me for my “vile posts.” Hey, take it easy over there on Facebook. Let’s get back to amusing each other.

Can’t live without plastic

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sking for fewer plastic bags in shops is all very well and commendable, but it doesn’t physically amount to much. Look around a typical 7/11, and you’ll see that 99.9% of its products are wrapped, contained or covered by plastic. Sadly, there’s no alternative. editorbigchilli

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News

Catching a cold – 41,000 baht for one night in hospital In another incident, hospital refuses to honour its birth package ■ AN expat is still reeling from the eye-watering 41,000 baht cost of his daughter’s one-night stay in a Bangkok hospital suffering from what her family believed was “a heavy cold.” “We were due to go on holiday the next day, and my daughter wasn’t feeling great, so I thought we’d get some medicine to help her to feel better. “The hospital said she could be suffering from flu and suggested she stay overnight for tests. She would also go on a drip.” The tests proved negative, and his daughter was cleared to leave the following morning. The father was shocked by the size of the bill and went through it itemby-item. It included meals, in-room equipment, nursing, medication as well as ‘special’ medication, lab tests, and ‘other’ medical charges. The accommodation was the cheapest available. There were also fees for three different physicians. The hospital insisted the bill was settled before allowing the postteenage girl to leave. Although her father had medical insurance, the hospital demanded details of his credit card to ensure payment. Only then was the girl permitted to return home. Her father is now awaiting feedback from the insurers. Experts not connected with this case are astonished at the size of the final bill. Commented a veteran of the health insurance business: “This is one

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of the worst I’ve ever come across.” Another health insurance executive offered a possible explanation. “It appears that the doctor was trying to find out why the patient was admitted for flu because it can be in many types of virus,” adding that the final diagnosis would determine the treatment involved. In a separate incident at another Bangkok hospital, an expat and his wife purchased a package deal for the upcoming birth of their new child. It was for a stay of two nights, with all normal childbirth costs covered. Although the birth was completely normal, there was a minor concern about the baby’s health, which required an additional night in the

hospital. When the couple received the bill for the three-night stay, they were shocked to find it almost double the amount charged for the birth package. The hospital explained that the extra night had made the original package redundant and it was, therefore, charging by a three-night stay. When the expat insisted he should be required to pay only for one additional night, the hospital rejected his request and refused to release the baby. Outraged, he threatened to call the police and tell them that his child was being held for ransom. This tactic worked, and the hospital eventually agreed to reduce the bill.


News

Confusion as New Delhi gets to decide on UK visa applications ■ FROM June this year, UK Visa & Immigration will relocate its visa decision-making centre from Bangkok to New Delhi. Although there will be no change to the visa application process in

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Bangkok and Chiang Mai, or to overall service standards, some Thai travellers are concerned about the decision-making process being switched to India. “Until now I have always felt very comfortable about getting a UK visa,” explained a prominent Thai businessman and regular visitor to the UK where he has investments. “Embassy staff here know my company and me, and a visa has never been a problem. “But I don’t think this will happen when my visa application

is considered in New Delhi. People there don’t know me. I am worried.” In future, customers will still apply for their visas online and submit their biometrics and documents at two Visa Application Centres (VACs) in Bangkok, and Chiang Mai managed by VFSGlobal. Visa-decision making will be independent of the country of application, says UKVI. VFS Global is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kuoni Group, a company headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland and acquired by private-equity company EQT in 2016. The shareholding of VFS Global has not been made public.


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

THE HOT LIST

By Morgan Thanarojpradit

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01 Japanese Film Festival 2018

February 2 to March 11 SFW Cinema at CentralWorld THE Japan Foundation, Bangkok presents the annual film festival. Starting on Friday, February 2 until Sunday, March 11, the festival will transport all viewers to four different regions of Thailand including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Korat and Phuket. www.japanesefilmfest.org

02 Evergreen Music Craft Community

February 4 and March 4 Blue Parrot Bangkok, Revolucion Cocktail Bangkok INDULGE your senses with a fresh brand of Urban Festival at Evergreen Music Craft Community. Fun activities include Pétanque competition, Causes & Fairtrade

Craft Showcases, all day BBQ and more. www.facebook.com/ events/1983466481913540

03 Thai International Travel Fair #22

February 7-11 Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre ORGANISED to promote domestic and international tourism products and services for the Tourism industry, Thai International Travel Fair 22 is the best place where attendees can find the best bargain for the money. www.facebook.com/ events/136025143771854

04 Galleries’ Night Bangkok 2018

February 9-10 Bangkok, Thailand GALLERIES’ Night Bangkok 2018 invite all art lovers and inquisitive people to visit over 50 galleries in Bangkok via dedicated tuk-tuks. Enjoy the contemporary artistic creations, exhibitions, special events and more. www.facebook.com/ events/291449794690466

05 Russell Peters returns to Asia

March 4 Impact Exhibition Hall 1 AEG Presents and Live Nation BEC-Tero announce the return of the global comedy phenomenon Russell Peters who is back in Asia with his Deported World Tour to Bangkok on March 4, 2018, at


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Impact Exhibition Hall1.The ticket prices start at B2,000 via all ThaiTicketMajor outlets. www.thaiticketmajor.com

06 2018 King’s Cup Elephant Polo

March 8-11 Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort THIS year’s instalment of King’s Cup Elephant Polo promises to offer a full range of fun and festivities for the whole family. The activities include an impressive opening parade, children’s education day, Ladies Day or known as the Bangkok Ascot and a variety of entertainment, DJs lineup and pop up food market. www.anantaraelephantpolo.com

07 Thailand Coffee Fest 2018

March 8 Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre THAIAND Coffee Fest 2018 is a gathering place for all coffee lovers to learn even more about coffee including farmers, roasters, exporters, baristas, cafes, equipment, suppliers and more. www.thailandcoffeefest.org

08 TRANSMISSION The Spirit of the Warrior

March 17 BITEC Bangna Hall AFTER the massive Asia debut in March 2017, Transmission Festival Bangkok will return in 2018. Experience a new epic, audio-visual experience,

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with music lovers from all over Thailand, Asia and beyond in attendance. www.facebook.com/ groups/686296558194344

09 World Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony March 17-18 Ayutthaya World Heritage Site MUAY Thai boxers and fighters from around the world gather to participate in the annual World Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony and Miracle Muay Thai Festival to show their appreciation to the beautiful art of Muay Thai at Ayutthaya World Heritage Site. www.facebook.com/ events/1948467082039987

10 John Legend in Bangkok for the first time

March 23 BITEC Bangna Hall AMERICAN singer, songwriter and musician John Legend will be making his debut in Thailand in March. His soulful tunes have captured audiences around the world, and Legend is heading across the globe in his Darkness and Light Tour. Some of his biggest hits include ‘All of Me,’ ‘Green Light’ and many more. Ticket prices range from B2,800-8,500, and the show will start at 8pm. www.thaiticketmajor.com

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School Report

Rugby School Thailand A British Private School where the responsibilities extend beyond the classroom.

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FTER launching the Pre-Prep and Prep Schools in 2017, Rugby School Thailand is quickly becoming one of the top international schools not only in Thailand but also the whole of Asia. Boasting 450 years of heritage from Rugby School UK, the curriculum at Rugby School Thailand offers all the advantages of the UK’s renowned boarding school system. Rugby School Thailand offers both Day and Boarding with three available boarding options: Day Boarding which is 1-2 nights per week, Weekly Boarding where students go home during the weekends and Full Boarding where students go home during the half-term or leaveweekends. Serving all 7+ year-old

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students with a full timetable from 8.15am to 5.50pm, this sets it apart from the general short-day system in most of the international schools in Thailand. After hours for boarders is reserved for quiet study time and further numerous activities. The school’s campus is fully equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that will provide an endless range of opportunities for its students to explore their passions and interests. All students can choose to participate in the Saturday enrichment programme where the teachers will take their subjects or specialities beyond the core curriculum and let the students explore more than they can learn in classes. Rugby School Thailand is very selective when it comes to the students. The school application will


Travel

Hotel of the month

Koyao Island Resort Experience the world of peace and tranquillity at an exquisite hideaway in the famed Phang Nga Bay

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IDDEN away in Phang Nga Bay on Koh Yao Noi is the Koyao Island Resort which sits in a remote yet accessible location. The resort sits comfortably amidst the surrounding beaches and rainforests with uninhabited islands which mass tourism has yet to discover. The hotel provides private car or minivan shuttle services to the pier from the airports at both Krabi (40 min) and Phuket (20 min). There is also a private boat service to the resort’s beachfront.

The villas are in fine balance with the surrounding nature and provide bespoke western-style luxurious standard accommodation. The decor encompasses the natural surroundings using local materials with natural palm leaf roofs that allow for a more refreshing and comfortable stay. All villas provide spectacular views of the James Bond island with over 220m of the resort’s beachfront. Boasting exquisite traditional Thai architecture decor, the resort blends in perfectly with the beaches and coconut palms. Each villa offers stunning panoramic views of the bay.

Guests can choose from the numerous accommodation options including Beach Villa, Beach Villa Suite, Family Beach Villa, South Beach Private Tent and Hornbills Luxury Pool Tent. Facilities include complimentary WiFi internet access, minibar, Nespresso coffee machine and Dilmah tea facilities, hairdryer, amenities for double occupancy, living area with daybed and sofa, king size bed with mosquito net, indoor bathroom with outdoor shower. Also available are the infinity swimming pool, complimentary bicycle, motorbike rental, water sports equipment (non-motorised only), children’s beach toys, in-villa dining, spa and turn down service. Also available on the premises are Pum Pui Thai restaurant and Gecko Bar for light snacks, juices and cocktails. Koyao Island Resort. 24/2 Moo 5, Koh Yao, Ko Yao Noi, Ko Yao, Phang Nga, 82160. 076 597 474. www.koyao.com

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Insight

THALIAprofile

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• NAME: THE ONE AND ONLY THALIA OFTEN IMITATED NEVER DUPLICATED • AGE: 39 • BIRTHPLACE: THAILAND • EDUCATION: A VERY USEFUL BACHELOR OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE • PROFESSION AND COMPANY: CREATIVE DIRECTOR FOR QUBE CONSULTING, HR AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR AND PARTNER FOR THE BEAUMONT PARTNERSHIP • BEST CLIENTS: THE ONES WHO PAY • WHY ARE YOU GOOD AT YOUR JOB: I NEVER TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER • HOW LONG IN THAILAND: 16 YEARS • BEFORE THAILAND: SYDNEY AUSTRALIA • WHERE DO YOU LIVE AND WHY: SATHORN, CLOSE TO THE OFFICE • BEST FRIEND HERE: THE MAESTRO • PERSONALITY: A CONSERVATIVE IN FREE SPIRIT BODY • WHERE ARE YOU MOST LIKELY TO BE SEEN: ON MY YOGA MAT OR DRINKING CHAMPAGNE AND EATING OYSTERS AND CLAMS SOMEWHERE DISCRETE. I DON’T DO TRENDY AND I DON’T DO QUEUES. • FAVORITE WEEKEND DESTINATION: AT HOME OR IN HUA HIN • BEST PLACE FOR THAI OR WESTERN FOOD: LACIANA BY THE SEA HUA HIN • BEST PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT (OVERSEAS): WINNING KARATE TOURNAMENTS AS A CHILD, REPRESENTING AUSTRALIA IN RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS, BEING AWARDED AN INAUGURAL MEMORIAL AWARD FOR RECONCILIATION • PROUDEST MOMENTS IN THAILAND: BEING WITH THE STUDENTS OF RUAM PATTANA SCHOOL AS THEY GO ON THEIR JOURNEY AND SERVING AS A BOARD MEMBER OF THE BEAUMONT PARTNERSHIP FOUNDATION • IF YOU WERE BANGKOK GOVERNOR FOR A DAY, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE: I WOULD ASK ALL CORPORATIONS TO INVEST A DAY IN EDUCATING PEOPLE IN DRIVING ETIQUETTE AND SAFETY ESPECIALLY FOR BUSES AND TAXIS, ENSURE ALL MOTORCYCLISTS ESPECIALLY PILLION PASSENGERS WEAR HELMETS, IMPLEMENT A POLICY TO REDUCE PACKAGING AND WASTE AND BAN ALL PLASTIC BAGS IN BANGKOK


• MOST IMPRESSIVE PERSON YOU’VE EVER MET: I HAVE HAD THE GREAT HONOR OF MEETING MANY AMAZING PEOPLE. SOME ARE BRILLIANT, SOME ARE HUMBLE AND WISE, SOME COME FROM NOTHING BUT YET HAVE EVERYTHING TO OFFER • AND THE WEIRDEST: I’VE MET A LOT OF THOSE, TOO • SPORTS AND OTHER HOBBIES: YOGA, RUNNING, WRITING, GOLF, DISCOVERING CULINARY DELIGHTS, RAISING AWARENESS OF THE FOUNDATION AND WORKING. • MOST OVERRATED ACTIVITY: CLUBBING LATE AT NIGHT. I NEED TO BE IN BED BY 10PM • REGRETS: NOT BEING ABLE TO DRIVE, SPENDING TIME WITH FAKE SOULLESS WANNABES AND SOCIAL CLIMBERS AND EMOTIONAL VAMPIRES • RETIRE IN THAILAND? YES, BUT IT’S A FEW YEARS AWAY AND IT WON’T REALLY BE RETIREMENT. I WILL ALWAYS WORK. I LOVE TO WORK • IF YOU WERE A SONG WHAT WOULD YOU BE: STORM BY FLEETWOOD MAC OR LEARNING TO FLY BY TOM PETTY • TRUMP OR OBAMA: CAN I CHOOSE BETWEEN TIFFANY OR HARRY WINSTON INSTEAD? • FAVORITE DESTINATION: SONEVA FUSHI AND NALADHU MALDIVES • STYLE BASICS: LITTLE BLACK DRESS, PEARLS, NUDE SIMPLE PUMP LOUBOUTINS, CHRISTIAN DIOR OR VERNIS IN 999 • MOTTO IN LIFE: NEVER NOT BE WHO YOU ARE AND IF THAT’S OUTRAGEOUS AND IRREVERENT, BE THAT TOO

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Humour

A Family Sense of Humour By Drew McCreadie

■ WHILE dealing with the sadness of my father’s recent passing and preparing for his funeral, I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my brother, who, for reasons I can never understand, has chosen to live in a small maritime city in Canada even though he is free to live anywhere else, but that is another story. I haven’t spent much time with my brother in a long time (because I do not live in a small maritime city in Canada), but our time together suddenly activated a memory that I had obviously forgot, namely: he and I share a very similar sense of humour. We crack each other up, and like to laugh at the same absurd things. Our shared laughter has been a bright beacon in an otherwise sad time, and I am very glad for it. It should not really be surprising that my brother and I share a similar sense of humour, and yet I was surprised anyway. Go figure. Sense

This month at the Comedy Club Bangkok Feb 2 - Stand-up comedy with Gina Yashere Proudly presents legendary award-winning comedian Gina Yashere live in Bangkok. Ticket prices are B800 in advance or B1,000 at the door with one drink and drink specials. Feb 9, 23- Bangkok Improv Comedy! Bringing you the funny at The Comedy Club Bangkok! As made famous by ‘WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?’, ‘THEATRESPORTS’, and ‘THE SECOND CITY’, we use audience suggestions to fuel the scenes. Ticket prices are B400 in advance or B500 at the door with one drink and drink specials. Feb 16 - Stand-up comedy open mic Bangkok’s ever more seasoned comics are joined by headliner Fred Le who’s got his comedy stripes in LA for seven years before recently moving to Vietnam. Ticket prices are B250 in advance and B350 at the door with one drink and drink specials. The Comedy Club Bangkok, Sukhumvit 33/1 (above The Royal Oak Pub) comedyclubbangkok.com

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of humour, studies have shown, is a learned trait rather than a genetic one, and my brother and I share -- having grown up together -- many of the same childhood experiences, and developed our senses of humour in a very similar environment to each other. And while both our parents enjoyed a good laugh, both my brother and I agree that our sense of humour is markedly different from theirs. My mother used to love sharing a giggle fit with her sisters over stories which no one else could understand (due to the strong Scottish accents and the constant giggles that interrupted every telling) and which didn’t really have any point, and my father had a particularly ‘avuncular’ sense of humour; you know, bad puns and silly jokes that make your eyes roll more than they will ever make you laugh. My dad’s favourite joke, which he told me many times was: “How long are a rabbit’s legs? Long enough to reach the ground.” One study has found that children as young as one year old begin to

develop their sense of humour, or at least their ability to recognise humour. And so, while my brother and I do not share the same sense of humour with our parents, we obviously got our sense of humour from our mother and father, who are the only source of comic materials for many years. Being the couple of rebels without causes that my brother and I are, it is likely that the difference between our sense of humour and that of our parents was a teenage reaction to their ‘old people’ humour, and our desire to rebel against whatever wasn’t cool, i.e. whatever our parents liked. Our sense of humour is decidedly more vulgar than that of our parents, for example, “How long are a rabbit’s legs? Long enough to reach its ass.” There is nothing quite like being around someone who exactly shares your sense of humour. It is exhilarating and comforting, and I recommend sharing a laugh with a family member or a friend as often as you can! It’s good therapy in tough times.


Insight

Baan Ying Family Group and Raimon Land to tackle F&B industry together Welcoming first three branches in Singapore's business centre

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AIMON Land PCL, a leading real estate developer, partnered with Baan Ying Family Group to spread authentic Thai cuisine to the people of Singapore. Why did Raimon Land choose the F&B industr y? This is a timely and strategic move for Raimon Land to diversify the business to ensure a steady alternative revenue stream. The food and beverage sector in Singapore is worth about S$9b. Why did Raimon Land choose Baan Ying? The family-owned restaurant business has been serving authentic and traditional Thai cuisine for over 20 years. It has strength regarding reputation and company structures. The signature of Baan Ying cuisine is offering fresh,

modern and made for local palates without catering to foreign tastes which is what Raimon Land is looking for. Baan Ying Family Group’s first major partnership This is Baan Ying’s first major partnership. The joint venture will be 51% owned by Raimon Land PCL and 49% Baan Ying Family group and will be operated out of Singapore. The Singapore project Raimon Land plans to open the first two restaurants which will be opened in Royal Square, Novena in Q1 2018. Dink Dink, a 68-seater quick dining restaurant will be on the first floor of the new mixed-use development

offering Thai favourites in a casual, quick-service ambience. The menu will feature Thai Tom Yum noodles and old-school Thai beverages for both dining in and to-go. This site is located in one of the busiest hubs outside of CBD. Royal Square is only five minutes drive from Orchard Road and just eight minutes from the CBD. The newest mall in Novena is nestled in the middle of the complex surrounded by government buildings, large hospitals, hotels and Singapore’s largest Catholic Church, so we expect to gain over 10,000 people per day. What’s in store for Thailand? In the pipeline is an upscale restaurant overlooking Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River scheduled to open in 2018. What next? The group has plans to expand across Southeast Asia and China, opening between 10-15 outlets by the year 2020. The target cities include Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

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Three unique styles at Pirate Arena

CLAIMING to become the next hip hangout spot is the Pirate Arena, the new project to be created at the Seenspace Thonglor 13 by the owner of the legendary Fallabella and the pirate-themed restaurant like the Pirate

Chambre. The 4,300 sqm area will be separated into three unique styles with the Pirate Saloon on the first floor where diners can enjoy an open-air beer and whisky bar. The second floor is the Wine Ministry and the Pirate Bazaar offering an array of famous and popular street food stalls. To everyone’s delight, the third floor is the return of Fallabella under the new name, Fallabella Luxe. 083 024 7989. www.facebook.com/ piratearena.official

New

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

Dinner on another level at Haoma

PRESENTING a unique and sustainable gastronomy experience, Haoma, named after a divine plant venerated by ancient human societies, takes pride in offering progressive urban-farm dining dishes accompanyied by a good selection of cocktails. Behind the bar is a competent mixologist with years of experience at the well-regarded by Mitchell Kai Lum - Brand Ambassador of BACARDÍ. Located in Sukhumvit Soi 31, the two-storey modern glass house surrounded by lush greenery is offering fresh farm to table produce. The restaurant opens Tuesday to Sunday from 6 - 11pm and closes on Monday. 02 258 4744. www.facebook.com/HaomaBKK

LINK Cuisine and Bar to open in vibrant Yen Akat Road

THE urban iteration of the brand’s highly successful restaurant in Koh Samui is coming to Bangkok in Sathorn’s emerging foodie hub on Yen Akat Road. The LINK Cuisine and Bar Bangkok present the aesthetic open show kitchen, koi pond and tropical garden with spacious decking and fresh modern feel. Low key yet impressive, the new bar and restaurant will draw a crowd. 02 077 4804. linkcuisine.com/bangkok

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An affordable casual rooftop bar

SEA Dragon Holdings and Sincere Capital Land present the new rooftop bar, Cloud 9, Casual Rooftop bar. Taking on the affordable rooftop concept from its predecessor, Cloud 47, the legendary venue with the open dress code, Cloud 9 is the new Bangkok hipster hangout perfect for international crowds and tourists. 091 889 9600. www.facebook.com/Cloud9Bangkok

Wishbeer Thonglor Redefining Asian cuisine at Akira Back

BANGKOK Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park welcomes the latest global offering from Akira Back, the award-winning Korean-born, American-raised chef who is redefining Asian cuisine. Combining four different venues into one, Akira Back comprises a main dining area, sushi bar, omakase bar and four private dining rooms with spectacular views across the Bangkok skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows. Offering 100 seater and four private dining rooms, guests can choose from the signature dishes that reflect Akira Back’s distinctive “East meets West” style or the delectable a la carte selection or combo set. 02 059 5999. www.bangkokmarriottmarquisqueenspark.com

WISHBEER recently launched its Thonglor branch offering carefully chosen beer with the rating of more than 90++ from ratebeer.com (worldwide beer drinkers vote the scores via the website). Guests can be sure that they will enjoy an array of high-quality beer. Located only 300m from Thonglor BTS, it’s a walking distance to the best place to chill out and cool off with an excellent choice of cold beers. 02 392 1403. www.wishbeerhomebar.com

Daddy G’s Smoke & Brew

A Western restaurant with 1950s industrial-style decor recently opened inside the Onyx Hotel Bangkok, Rama XI Soi 53. The new restaurant offers a delectable selection of grilled recipes including smoked beef tongue, dry-aged and slowcooked Black Angus beef dishes, Caesar salad and spicy Carbonara and much more. Also available are 17 taps of local and international draft beers. 02 118 3422. www.facebook. com/DaddyGsSmokeAndBrew

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Flirt at the poolside FEBRUARY 14 NOVOTEL Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 presents Valentine’s dinner by the pool. Only on February 14, from 6 - 10pm. The meal includes BBQ grilled lobster and a rack of lamb with tapas buffet and

Valentine’s night at Sky on 20

a bottle of Prosecco. The poolside dinner is only B4,900 net per couple. 02 099 4999. www.facebook.com/ novotelbangkoksukhumvit20

Crab Extravaganza at Renaissance Bangkok AVAILABLE EVERY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY UNTIL THE END OF FEBRUARY RENAISSANCE Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel invites you to kick-start any weekend with a sumptuous feast at Flavors restaurant Crab Extravaganza. On offer include an impressive array of fresh crab delicacies including Atlantic brown crabs, Alaskan snow crabs, Giant Mud crabs, Blue swimmer crabs, soft shell crabs and more. The Crab Extravaganza is available every Friday and Saturday from 6-10.30pm at B2,100++ per person.

FEBRUARY 14 LOVE is in the air, and we set it on fire at the rooftop bar, “Sky on 20”, on the 26th floor of Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 on Valentine’s night. The package includes one bottle of sparkling wine and tapas set at B4,000 per couple or enjoy the Romance package with one bottle of Moet & Chandon Rose and tapas set at B8,000 per couple. 02 009 4999. www.novotelbangkoksukhumvit20.com

25 Degrees again claims “Best American Burger” Award AVAILABLE THROUGH FEBRUARY THE cool 24-hour burger joint at Pullman Bangkok Hotel G, 25 Degrees Burgers, Wine & Liquor Bar recently claimed the first prize of the “Best American Burger” at the “Great American Burger Battle 2017” for the third consecutive year. The Knockout Burger and the Dry-aged Beef Burger are B450++ each. 02 352 4192. www.facebook.com/25DegreesBangkok

02 125 5010. www.facebook.com/RenHotels

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Seafood buffet & king crab at Mercure Bangkok Makkasan AVAILABLE NOW MERCURE Bangkok Makkasan is welcoming New Year with a new seafood buffet dinner highlighting fresh seafood on ice and king crab at The Station restaurant. The sumptuous buffet includes seafood on ice, sushi, hot dish, BBQ, salad, homemade dessert, seasonal fruits and live cooking stations. The dinner is available from 6-10pm and is priced at B888++ per person inclusive of soft drinks. Guests can also enjoy free flow of local beers, selected wines and soft drinks for two hours for B550++ per person. 02 115 3333. www.facebook.com/ MercureBangkokMakkasan

Chinese New Year by the River at Royal Orchid Sheraton FEBRUARY 16 ROYAL Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers invites you to celebrate with the entire family while embracing the traditions of sharing this Chinese New Year. On Friday, February 16, Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers presents BBQ & seafood buffet dinner from 6 - 10pm at B1,400++ per person and half price for children aged 10-12 years old). Every table will receive a special gift to celebrate the Year of the Dog. 02 266 0123. www.royalorchidsheraton.com

Trader Vic’s exotic ‘Lobster Lifestyle’

Unlimited lobster at the Rain Tree Cafe

AVAILABLE UNTIL MARCH TRADER Vic’s presents the gourmet Lobster Lifestyle menu offering a collection of two starters and two mains with lobster as the hero of the meal. Tease your taste buds with the lobster tempura salad, grilled lobster salad for starters and indulge in the creamy lobster gratin and succulent grilled whole lobster with corn on the cob for mains, accompanyied by a choice of a Classic White Wine Spritzer or a Watermelon Wine Spritzer on the house. The Lobster Lifestyle menu is available daily starting at B550++ for a la carte dish.

AVAILABLE NOW THE Athenee Hotel Bangkok brings weekly special treats to all at The Rain Tree Cafe. Every Sunday, guests can indulge in the delicious Sunday Brunch. On offer includes unlimited grilled lobsters, fresh seafood on ice and live cooking stations. Priced at B2,400++ per person including unlimited lobster and drinking water, half price for children aged between 4-12 years old and children under four years old dine for free. Beverage packages are priced at B1,000++ and B2,100++ per person. Sunday Brunch is available from 12-3.30pm.

02 476 0022 ext 1416. www.facebook.com/anantara

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02 650 8800. www.theathenee.com


A delicious start to the Year of the Dog AVAILABLE NOW THE chef team at Chatrium thought up two impressive set menus just for the upcoming Chinese New Year. Set menu A includes Cantonese classics such as Peking duck, braised abalone with Taiwanese tofu in brown sauce and steamed tiger prawns in garlic sauce and more for B15,000 net per person. Set B features the signature Silver Waves-style BBQ suckling pig, deep-fried snow fish with salt and chilli and wok-fried crab with XO sauce and more for B17,000 net per person. Both sets include free-flow Chrysanthemum tea or Chinese tea. Or try the Yee Sang menu, a Cantonese-style raw fish salad mixed with shredded vegetables served with a variety of sauces and condiments for a prosperous new year. 02 307 8888 ext 1948-49. www.chatrium.com

Chinese New Year at Liu FEBRUARY 14-20 CHINESE New Year represents the celebration of family and friends, and there’s no better way to celebrate the occasion but to indulge in Chinese delicacies at Liu Chinese restaurant at Conrad Bangkok. The all-you-can-eat dim sum is B1,380++ per person. The a la carte menu starts from B180++ per plate, and the dinner set menu prices are B13,800++, B18,800++ and B28,800++ for ten-person parties. 02 690 9999. www.relishbangkok.com, www.conradhotels.com/bangkok

amBar Valentine’s celebration FEBRUARY 14 SHARE the love this Valentine’s Day with an intimate dinner for two at amBar priced at B2,900 net per couple. The menu includes a set of sushi and sashimi platter with special Valentine’s dessert and a bottle of Prosecco. 02 309 3288. www.facebook.com/ AmBarBangkok

Chinese New Year Feast at Dynasty FEBRUARY 16 DYNASTY Chinese restaurant at Centara Grand at CentralWorld presents two extravagant Cantonese-inspired menus this Chinese New Year: Golden Dragon and Prosperity. Featuring are some of Dynasty’s signature dishes including the shark fin soup with bamboo pith, roasted duck Peking style, whole suckling pig BBQ Hong Kong-style and baked salted chicken Peking style. The set menu prices are based on groups of ten. The Golden Dragon set menu is B12,800++, and the Prosperity set menu at B16,800++. 02 100 6255. www.centarahotelsresorts.com/ centaragrand/cgcw/restaurant/dynasty

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Romantic Valentine at Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit FEBRUARY 14 CELEBRATE Valentine’s Day in style at Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit. On offer is the exclusive dinner experience at three renowned outlets including The District Grill Room & Bar, the Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar and the 57th Street Restaurant. The Valentine’s dinners are complemented with special-made chocolate desserts. 02 797 0000. www.marriottnewscenter.com

Exclusive Champagne Sunday Brunch at UNO MAS AVAILABLE NOW THE first Sunday of every month throughout 2018, UNO MAS is holding an exclusive Champagne brunch amidst the stunning views of Bangkok skyline. Featuring a mouthwatering spread of Spanish flavours such as tapas, raw and cooked seafood, hot and cold cuts of imported meat and a variety of

Lovely Valentine at Royal Orchid Sheraton

Seven days, seven specials at Uno Mas

a la carte dishes, diners are complemented with unlimited bubbles courtesy of GH Mumm Cordon Rouge Champagne. The brunch runs from 11.30am to 2.30pm at the price of B3,555++ per person inclusive of the sommelier’s excellent selection of international drinks, free-flow Magnum of GH Mumm Cordon Rouge Champagne. 02 100 6255. www.unomasbangkok.com

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AVAILABLE JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2018 KICKING off the new year with weekly delights, Uno Mas restaurant, Centara Grand at CentralWorld presents the updated menus for the ‘Seven Days of Sharing Menus’ available throughout January and February 2018. On offer include Torta Del Casar (B890++) on Monday, Tuesday Cochinillo (B1,350++), Wednesday Txogitxu beef (B5,199++) Thursday Boudeuse oysters (B130++ per piece), Friday seasonal Mediterranean mussels (B555++) Saturday Iberico Tartare (B750++) and Agnei Iberico (B1,450++) for Sundays. 02 100 6255. www.unomasbangkok.com

FEBRUARY 14 WELCOMING all couples to show the spirit of love this Valentine’s Day, Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers invites all to celebrate the day of love by the River of Kings. The special Valentine’s dinner for two is available at all four outlets with beautiful panoramic river views. The dinner includes Japanese-themed dinner buffet at B2,500++ per couple. Giorgio’s Italian restaurant Valentine in Venice dinner set menu is priced at B3,200++ per couple. Thara Thong presents a Thai set menu at B4,999 per couple, and the Riverside Grill presents the Grill set menu for B4,999 per couple. The Valentine’s Day dinner is available from 6-10pm. 02 266 0123. www.royalorchidsheraton.com


Start-Flirt-Love story by Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 Michelin-starred Valentine FEBRUARY 14 CELEBRATE this year’s Valentine’s Day with a tantalising eight-course French degustation by the Head Chef Amerigo Tito Sesti and his team at a Michelin star restaurant, J’aime by Jean-Michel Lorain. Priced at B9,999 per couple including a glass of Champagne per person. Seats are limited, reserve yourself a beautiful day of love dinner today. 02 119 4899. www.jaime-bangkok.com

FEBRUARY 14 - 28 NOVOTEL Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 welcomes the day of love which we will celebrate from February 14 onwards with our “Start with Sweet...The Valentine Mode” promotion. What better way to start a romance than to give that person one of our tasty selection of cakes for B100 at the Gourmet Bar. The promotion is available from February 14-28.. 02 009 4999. www.novotelbangkoksukhumvit20.com

Signature menu at Seasonal Tastes AVAILABLE THROUGH FEBRUARY WESTIN Grande Sukhumvit Bangkok presents diners with the new Sunday highlight signature menu at Seasonal Tastes. The restaurant situated in the heart of the city is serving new mouth-watering menus including the baked wild sea bass on zucchini and tomatoes tian/ tarragon lemon butter, pan-fried wild sea bass on herbs risotto/green asparagus, semi-dried tomatoes/saffron cream and steamed wild sea bass on pappardelle/ light red curry and coconut essence. The enticing international Sunday Lunch buffet still retains its regular price of B1,999 net per person inclusive of free-flow soft drinks. The buffet is available from 12-3pm. 02 207 8000. www.westingrandesukhumvit.com

Starlit romance at Renaissance Bangkok FEBRUARY 14 RENAISSANCE Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel offers a superb dining menu for the intimate Valentine’s evening. Presenting the five-course gourmet dinner lovingly crafted by the Italian Executive Sous Chef Salvatore Catania and his team, diners can indulge in delectable meal amidst the beautiful ambience of love. The Valentine’s Day exclusive dinner menu is available on February 14 from 6-10.30pm priced at B4,200++ per couple. 02 125 5020. www.renhotels.com

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Scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus

Michelin Guide promotes Bib Gourmand FOLLOWING the launch of the first edition of the Michelin Guide Bangkok which generated a lively buzz around town, Michelin is now promoting the ‘Bib Gourmand’. It highlights more affordable options serving “good cuisine at a reasonable price”. Featuring restaurants and eateries including those offering quality cuisine at a maximum price of B1,000 (per three-course meal: starter, main course and dessert but exclusive of beverages), it is expected to boost Bangkok’s reputation as a city of fantastic cuisine in all types and price ranges.

Sicily Sensation at Scalini Flocking to Scalini Italian restaurant at Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok are numerous foodies and former Miss Univer se Thailand, Ms Chichaya Karnasuta for the launch of Chef Roberto Pinna’s ‘Cucina Siciliana’ menu featuring speciality dishes from the Mediterranean’s largest island.

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Dining Out

Burger & Lobster arrives at Gaysorn Village Fabulous family-style dining where food is almost too good to share

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OCATED on the ground floor of the luxurious Gaysorn Village is the Burger & Lobster restaurant. Despite limited items on the menu, each packs a punch when it comes to taste and size.

SIGNATURE DISHES

The meal includes the B&L Truffle Beast (B2,900), 10oz of a medium-rare grilled burger topped with fresh and succulent lobster meat served with melted brie cheese, Truffle mayo, fennel and Chinese cabbage. The Truffle mayo was the clincher. It’s almost too good to share although, the sheer size doesn’t leave much choice.

Next comes the B&L Original Roll (B1,500), fresh lobster served with Japanese mayo and lemon in a bun. The smooth tasting and creamy sauce is absolutely delectable. The drink list also offers a good selection of local and imported beers, wines and an array of cocktails. The signature drinks include the Thai Affairs (B390) a perfect combination of Evan Williams Bourbon, Campari,

Honeyed green tea, mint, Kaffir lime leaf, lemon, chocolate bitters; and Over The Moon (B390), a harmonious blend of Beefeater Gin, strawberry, Pimms, rose, cucumber, lemon and fizz.

ATMOSPHERE

The dark wood panels interior offers a beautiful contrast to the brightlycoloured circular Banquette sofas and abstract art on the wall. The helpful staff and friendly atmosphere make one feel right at home.

PARKING

Parking is available at Gaysorn Village. Burger & Lobster. 999 Ploenchit Road, Khwaeng Lumphini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330. www.burgerandlobster.com/en/ location/bangkok

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Dining Out

Dining fit for the emperors at Dynasty Chinese restaurant A unique and fulfilling Chinese dining experience amidst the Bangkok skyline

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OCATED on the 24th floor of Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld is the beautiful Dynasty Chinese restaurant. On offer are an array of classical Cantonese cuisine with an artistic flair.

SIGNATURE DISHES

The meal started with freshly made steamed dim sum dishes. The selection includes snow fish rolls with anchovy caviar, shrimp siew mai, blue crab claw, shrimp dim sum, shrimp hakao, deep-fried Chinese chive and Alaska scallop dumpling, lotus seed buns and salmon dumpling with anchovy caviar and more. Next were an array of absolutely sumptuous main dishes like sauteed fresh scallops with black pepper sauce, sauteed sliced pork in X.O. chilli sauce, pork cutlets with sweet and sour sauce, prawns with mayonnaise and sesame seeds and the Peking duck with thick sweet sauce.

Desserts were chilled honeydew melon with sago and black sesame stuffed dumplings in warm ginger syrup. These were the perfect conclusion to the generous meal. There is a good selection of vegetarian dishes available as well. The Dynasty Chinese restaurant is open from 11.30am-2.30pm for lunch and from 6-10.30pm for dinner.

ATMOSPHERE

The Dynasty Chinese restaurant features beautiful panoramas of the Bangkok skyline. The 800 sq m, 200-seater restaurant is situated on the 24th floor of the hotel. Showcasing contemporary Asian

design, the restaurant beautifully incorporates contrasting elements of fire and water which dominate the decor throughout. Guests can enjoy the privacy of glass-enclosed private rooms or experience a new level of excitement with the live cooking stations and dim sum show kitchen.

PARKING

Parking is available at the hotel.

Dynasty Chinese Restaurant, Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld. 999/99 Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330. 02 100 1234 ext 6480. www.centarahotelsresorts.com/ centaragrand/cgcw/restaurant/dynasty

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Guest review by

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PizzaZo Bistro & Bar

HE Club had set a date for our first lunch of 2018 on January 9th. Unfortunately, the newly appointed manager of our chosen venue had set a new tariff for lunches starting in January which was effectively double the cost of a similar lunch in 2017. Also, we were asked to pay a corkage charge of B500 per bottle, taking us well beyond our budget. Unable to accept these terms, and with only a short time remaining, our official lunch had to be cancelled. Nevertheless, a handful of diehard gourmands were not willing to be ‘un-lunched’ on that day, and decided instead to join together at PizzaZo Bistro & Bar, the scene of a great B&B lunch last September, for a noontime repast à la carte style. We began our feast with a traditional selection of Italian cold cuts, bread, and olive oils. These

were paired with an excellent Martini Prosecco D.O.C., an authentic Prosecco from the hills of Treviso, Italy. This dry, crisp sparkling wine with notes of apple, banana and thyme proved to be the perfect aperitif as well as a great accompaniment to our cold cuts. Our first course consisted of two different offerings from the sea. These were delicately breaded fried calamari strips, served with fresh lemon and tasty dill dipping sauce, and spicy Cajun-style shrimp sautéed with garlic and chillies in olive oil and served with crunchy garlic bread. Both dishes were well complimented

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by choice of Poggio Anima Uriel 2016. Made from 100% Grillo grapes, this well-balanced, medium-bodied white wine from Western Sicily had fresh mineral notes and tropical fruit characters with a delightful citrusy finish that paired nicely with both seafood dishes. A rich, velvety mushroom cream soup, infused with just a hint of truffle, was presented for our next course. This decadent delight was wonderfully paired with a 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Saint Michelle Vineyards of Washington State’s Columbia Valley. It was a pleasant reminder to us all that

Bangkok Beefsteak & Burgundy

some of America’s finest wines are produced in the coastal regions north of California (and they rarely travel very far from home). As we were dining à la carte, members chose different beef dishes for their main course. Some opted to enjoy a long-time favourite PizzaZo specialty – braised beef cheek and tail served with a rich gravy sauce and creamy mashed potatoes. Others made the more traditional choice of a grilled rib eye steak and gratin potatoes. None were disappointed. Both beef dishes paired nicely with our selection of a Trinity Hill Syrah from Gimblett Gravels district of the Hawkes Bay wine region in New Zealand. Although the 2005 vintage we enjoyed still lived up to its excellent reputation, we perhaps caught this one just in time, as it was likely near the end of its cellar life. After such a delightful meal, some of our number elected not to partake of dessert. Others of us, however, having previously experienced PizzaZo’s sweet offerings, could not resist their classic tiramisu or the rich chocolate almond crunch with vanilla ice cream. All enjoyed their favourite choice of coffee. We concluded our dining experience with a nice selection of cheeses, which we washed down with the remaining Syrah and various after-dinner drinks – the perfect end to a wonderful day.


A tantalising indulgence by the sea at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort Saturday Caribbean poolside: The poolside party theme offers an array of BBQ lunch buffet at Koh Poda Pool Bar followed by the live Caribbean band show and Rain Dance Party at the Pool Garden. Children can enjoy the pirate face painting while the restaurant serves dishes from China, Korea, Japan, India and Thailand.

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OFITEL Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort brings all guests a fantastic experience with the all-you-can-eat daily themed buffets and fun activities. Monday international buffet: Maya restaurant brings out a wide selection of Western, European and Asian dishes. Children can take part in the SofiColour Day activities including Batik t-shirt painting, balloon twister, plaster character printing and a talent show. Tuesday Bollywood night: Led by the Iron Chef participant Rahul Negi, his chefs team prepare an array of Indian delicacies with spices and premium ingredients. Kids can enjoy the Sports Awards all-day activities with Olympic Games sessions with a big award ceremony at the end of the day. Wednesday Thai market: Presenting delicious traditional Thai buffet with an array of Thai cultural

activities for the young ones. The buffet offers the best-loved street food and traditional live performances by a local Khim (Thai cymbalo) player and traditional Thai dance practice and Thai boxing are available at the Health Club during the day. Thursday Night in Paris: Enjoy an array of authentic French delicacies accompanied by delightful live entertainment. Kids can join Green Day activities including gardening workshop, gel candle-making session, a floating castle party, jumping castle, trampoline and games. Friday BBQ seafood night: Featuring succulent and fresh local and imported seafood along with an unlimited selection of fresh salads, condiments and desserts. Children can join the umbrella painting, bracelet-making and waffle decorating workshops before enjoying an exclusive live Frozen show at night.

Sunday Sparkling Brunch: Guests can enjoy live jazz performances at Maya restaurant while dining on the signature dishes featuring a variety of fresh seafood, hot roast carvery and dessert buffet with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine. The Hollywood day mask painting, mosaic frame making and Hawaii dancing are great for kids. This promotion is available from today until the end of April 2018. Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort. 075 627 800. www.sofitelkrabiphokeethra.com

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Dining Out

OH CHIC SIGNATURE DISHES

The meal started off with homemade Pomodoro meatballs (B260), ground Thai-French beef meatballs stuffed with zesty cheddar cheese. Followed by baked New Zealand black mussels (B280), fresh mussels baked in garlic butter and white wine topped with

burger trio (B420), three delicious mini burgers – BBQ smoked roast beef, Cantonese wok-fried spicy pork and Mongolian chicken served with truffle potato wedges. The meal concluded with a tomahawk steak, a succulent and tender steak marinated overnight with garlic and rosemary olive oil served with sautéed spinach, French beans and whole baked garlic. For cocktails, Pil Lee’s custom creations include homemade infused gin cocktails that come in a variety of flavours. Also on offer are an array of local and imported beers, a selection of wines and sparkling drinks.

ATMOSPHERE

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ONNECTED to the Civic Hotel at the corner of Ekkamai and Sukhumvit Road and just 100 metres away from Ekkamai BTS station is OH CHIC Eatery & Social Bar. Offering an exciting menu of Italian-Asian Fusion dishes, expertly crafted cocktails, beers and wines. OH CHIC features a unique new concept that combines excellent food, beverages and worldclass entertainment.

bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and served with hot garlic bread. Then came the OH CHIC seafood tempura (B320), deep fried jumbo shrimp, squid and Enoki mushrooms wrapped with Iranian almonds and served with savoury Tahini dip. The black squid ink pasta with Ponzu wasabi sauce (B380) followed, a generous portion of al dente linguine topped with fresh salmon, sesame oil and spicy Japanese Ponzu sauce. Followed by the OH CHIC

OH, CHIC’s eye-catching aesthetic design encompasses a combination of an Ancient “Forbidden City” theme in all areas creating a warm and welcoming environment for all to enjoy. The restaurant can accommodate over 150 people and features fantastic entertainment with DJs from Wednesday to Saturday, a live band every Friday and dance performances by showgirls every Saturday. OH CHIC is open Tuesday to Sunday from 5pm to 1am and closes on Monday. OH CHIC Eatery Entertainment Social Bar. Civic Hotel Ekkamai 8/8 Sukhumvit 63, Prakanong Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110. 081 403 8159. www.facebook.com/ohchicbkk

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Feature

All Good Things

Marriages don’t last; relationships fall apart especially when there’s pressure from the family. Realising that he might never escape from his father’s shadow, the heir to a real-estate dynasty decides to take a chance at true love when he meets a lovely lady who sees him for what he is and not whose son he is. However, all plans fall sideways as the once-loving relationship deteriorates after David gives in to his father’s demand to work in the family business.

American Beauty

A middle-aged happily married man is tired of his middle-class existence. In his mid-life crisis, he decides to reinvent himself. He quits his job and becomes a potsmoking teenager who’s obsessed with his daughter’s friend. The result is tragic.

Atonement

Based on the book by Ian McEwan, the movie follows the lives of a young star-crossed couple. But the road isn’t covered by rose petals when the girl’s pesky little sister is jealous and seems to have made it her mission to make sure that the lovers stay star-crossed forever. A lie has been constructed, and all three must deal with the consequences.

Annie Hall

Annie is an aspiring actress. She meets Alvy, a TV writer who tries to figure out the reason why he fails so miserably in love. While we follow the course of the up-and-down relationship between the couple, the movie shows us the best and worst aspects of the relationship while reminding us of the ones that got away in the end.

Kramer vs Kramer

A single dad’s life is disrupted when ex-wife comes back into the picture to gain custody of their young son. The heated competition ensues. Parents may love their children, but they can truly hate each other.

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Fatal Attraction

Life is good for Dan Gallagher, a happily married man on the rise at his New York law firm. However, casual flirting causes everything to change. The sultry book editor, jilted by Dan, becomes unstable. Her behaviour escalates from aggressive pursuit to obsession stalking. Who knows what she’s capable of?

Shame

A seemingly ordinary man, albeit successful and handsome has a deep, dark secret. He is addicted to sex, so much so that his cravings for gratification numbs him to everything else. But when his sister unexpectedly visits, crashes at his apartment and invades his privacy, he is finally forced to confront his addiction head-on.

Blue Valentine

A free-spirited man marries an emotional woman while she’s pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s child. It seems like a dream come true for both of them until the relationship falls apart while the daughter’s presence is the only glue that keeps them together. The young fall in love hard and often without knowing what they want in life or out of the relationship. Sometimes, love is just not enough.

Teeth

Not exactly the most unromantic film on the list but it certainly is one to put on if you’re in the ‘dry’ season. Short of severed members falling out of the heroine’s lady bits was enough to haunt any male for a few days.

(500) Days of Summer The Lobster

The Lobster introduces us to an alternative world where single people are arrested and transferred to The Hotel according to the rules of The City. These people have only 45 days in which to search and meet their soulmate before being turned into an animal of their choice. I think I’ll pick a wombat … just saying.

A woman dumps a man. He desperately tries to recall what went wrong during their (500) days together. But sometimes, love just doesn’t work out no matter how much you try. And when the relationship ends, it’s best to move on. Because you never know whether there’s something better waiting just around the corner.

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School Report New BASIS Curriculum School to open in Bangkok

BASIS International School Bangkok is due to open in September 2019 in Rama 2 area. The unique and focused BASIS Curriculum supports and encourages youngsters to grow and pursue their ambitions and interests. Already raising a high bar in science, technology, engineering and math, the school’s curriculum will help build a well-rounded adult in the future. The new school was conceived after studies showed a growing demand in Thailand for a more ambitious education system following massive demand for places at the BASIS International School in Shenzhen, China, which was established in 2015, and Guangzhou, China which opened in 2017. The BASIS Curriculum operates from preschool to 12th grade. Initially, the Bangkok school will serve students up to 5th grade, adding a minimum of one extra grade a year. www.basisinternationalbkk.com

KIS augmented reality sandbox

KIS International School is introducing an interactive way to learn about earth science concepts and topography through an augmented reality sandbox. Students can shape the sand to create mountains, dams, rivers and lakes and with help from a 3D camera, which measures the distance to the sand below, the topographic lines, elevation colours and water are created and projected onto the sand in real time. Students can also make it rain, changing the topography, by holding their hand above the sand. KIS has designed a unique feature specifically for younger learners. Two physical buttons, connected and coded using Makey Makey, were incorporated into the sandbox to create a flood or a drought. This hands-on experience will be part of the KIS Maker Space in support of the learning of the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) subjects, including geography, topography, landforms, geology and hydrology. www.kis.ac.th

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Bromsgrove Charity Fun Run 2017

BROMSGROVE International School Thailand recently hosted “Bromsgrove Charity Fun Run 2017”, an annual charity run event to raise money to donate to three charitable organisations each year. This year the student body chose to give funds to SOS Children’s Villages Thailand, Soi Dog Foundation and HDF Mercy Centre.

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School Report

Wellington College International School Bangkok

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HAILAND’S reputation as a centre of educational excellence continues to grow with the opening later this year of Wellington College International Bangkok. Founding Master Christopher Nicholls explains the school’s aims, facilities and educational philosophy as well as its important strategic links with prestigious Wellington College in the UK.

regarded as the world’s premier university entrance qualification. The only thing to touch it is A levels. In the Senior School, we focus on academic achievement, always looking to inspire curiosity, creativity and compassion as we do so. We are here to enrich our pupils’ lives with enjoyment and deep understanding of our global scientific, linguistic and cultural heritage. In doing this, we aim to empower them to be leaders of the future.

When is the opening date of Wellington College International School Bangkok? August 2018 for pre-nursery to age 10. Next year we will open more classes. By 2020 the school including the Senior School will be fully open. What curriculum are you following? The British curriculum IGCSE in years 10 and 11 (ages 14-16) and then in the Sixth Form years (ages 16-18) either A levels or International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). The IB programme is

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Please outline your facilities The school campus and purpose-built premises are set on 50 rai of land, halfway between city and airport. The first phase opening this year encompasses 27 rai. There is space to move and to think, and space to ponder and to learn. We have 50m and 25m swimming pools, football pitch, and running track. We’re conveniently located right next to Unico Golf Course on Krung Thep Kritha Road in the Hua Mak area of Bangkok, so we’re going to be something of a golfing school. It’s a great environment for students.

How should Thailand develop/ improve its educational system? I don’t have a view on national education. I am an idealist and think I can change the world through my school, one child at a time. Tell us about the histor y of Wellington College? Our history is important. Duke of Wellington was Britain’s greatest living hero until Churchill. Queen Victoria honoured him by opening Wellington College in 1859. Almost 160 years on, the College is not only one of the UK’s most highlyrespected schools but also one of its most pioneering - leading educational innovation and transformation across the country and, indeed, the world. Part of my responsibility is to remind everyone of how important education was – and still is. The philosophy of Wellington College is central to our existence. When we talk about our identity, students will feel genuine commitment and belief, not just from me but everyone in the community.


Why Bangkok for Wellington College? We are located in what is almost certainly the best the city in Asia for British schools and education. And we’ll be one of them. Academically we’ll be outstanding, with lots of extracurricular access, fantastic facilities, a very friendly and professional environment. I joined Wellington College to run this school. For me, it’s genuinely the No 1 job in the world. How do you see the role of parents? They are most important. We are not a school for everybody. If you don’t want your child to be a truly independent being, we’re probably not the school for you.

What about ‘Wellington Values’? These embrace a values-based approach to education: COURAGE, KINDNESS, RESPONSIBILITY, RESPECT and INTEGRITY. These are timeless. They were valued when the College was founded, they are valued today, and they will be valued 160 years from now.

What will be the student mix by nationality? In the long term, as broad as possible, with an eventual total of total of 1,500 students. Maximum class size will be 15 and 23 for year one. School times are 7.20 am to 2.30 pm for younger pupils and 3.45 pm for older ones. Plus options after school. Tell us about teachers at Wellington College They are from the UK or top British schools overseas. Our teachers have to be exceptional. Everything we want from our students must be exemplified by them. Their energy, commitment, knowledge, wisdom and skills must be second to none. The desirability of Bangkok as a place to live and work, coupled with the international reputation of Wellington College, ensures that we receive many applications for every teaching post. Our rigorous recruitment process involves multiple interviews and attention at every stage, from initial longlisting through to appointment. We observe them in class and do a full international police check, which also includes local staff. The School is committed to the highest standards of safeguarding and promotion of the welfare of children and young people in all areas. What is the importance of the school’s ‘Wellbeing’ programme? Wellbeing is a concept pioneered by

Wellington College in the UK about a decade ago and has had an enormous impact. It teaches students to be resilient, independent, emotionally strong so they may confidently confront and overcome the obstacles and difficulties that life will present to them. The UK government now recommends schools to teach wellbeing. It’s an example of Wellington College being at the forefront of teaching. It includes Physical health to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Positive relationships to develop positive relationships with fellow students, teachers, family members and others. Perspective to build emotional resilience and thinking skills that enable students to overcome adversity. Engagement to develop a healthy curiosity about the world and a willingness to engage with it. The world to understand living sustainably in a conspicuous consumer society. Meaning and purpose to work out responses to the questions life ask of us.

Founding Master Mr Christopher Nicholls is an experienced educational leader, having worked at outstanding British schools in England, Singapore, Japan and Poland, leading the development of excellence at each institution. Most recently, he was the Founding Principal of The British School of Wilanow (Warsaw). Prior to that, he led The British School in Tokyo’s Senior School in becoming the first school in the world to achieve two successive maximum scores under the UK Government’s British Schools Overseas inspection protocol. Christopher is a passionate believer in the power of the best schools to transform the outlook of students and provide them with the dynamic openness and independence of mind that are the hallmarks of successful and happy twenty-firstcentury citizens of the world. He has spent much of his career in Asia and has a deep respect and admiration for the people and cultures of the region. Christopher is thrilled to be back, with Wellington College International School Bangkok, and to be part of an extraordinary hub of top-quality international school education in Bangkok.

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School Report

Magic Formula at Traill

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EAR on year Traill International School presents to the world another group of well rounded, talented individuals as they head off to University or into apprenticeships around the world. Whilst we are sad to see them go, we watch with pride as they take their first confident steps into adulthood. But where do their success stories begin? That is an easy question to answer. The day they become a Traill student. Our students come from varying backgrounds, but the moment they step through our doors they become part of our family community. Since the school opened in 1966 our teaching environment has been of key importance. Our Founders, Mr and Mrs Anthony Traill, wholeheartedly

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believed that providing a warm, homely and safe atmosphere for students was crucial to producing happy children who then went on to become confident learners. Over 5 decades may have passed, but that same principle holds true. Traill prides itself on the fact that over the years we have nurtured thousands of students through their school life, many of those we have taught from Kindergarten to Sixth Form. We work hard to ensure that class numbers are kept at a level whereby the teachers can provide individual attention to their students, so not only do we deal with any potential problems quickly and obtain support where necessary, but also that we are able to identify any gifted students and adjust their individualised education plans accordingly.

Recruitment is taken very seriously at Traill. Our teachers are chosen not only for their excellent educational qualifications but also for their willingness to invest their time in our students. At sports matches or drama performances, you will always find our teachers supporting the students. Some students are naturally talented others are not. At Traill, all of our students are valued equally and given the support to follow their interests. We have found that by following this path our students are able to excel in a wide variety of areas. So do we have a magic formula? We think so!

www.traillschool.ac.th


Health

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HE clash continues between vegans and those who follow a more carnivorousinspired diet. What is the point of abstaining from eating animal products? What effect does it have on the world, if any? While the idea may seem unfathomable to many, abiding by a vegan diet is easier (and better for you) than you might think. Becoming a vegan is difficult, however, unless one can debunk the arguments against this

particular diet. Whether you are making New Year resolutions to be healthier, improve your quality of life (as well as animals’) or simply want to try something new, here is a case for veganism.

Countering the arguments Here, we take a look at the top arguments made in hopes of derailing a vegan diet. We also look at why they just might be wrong, as well.

Veganism: Why it’s good for all of us Why not make consuming fewer animal products one of your 2018 resolutions? By Kelly Iverson

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Humans are carnivores No, we are not. Humans were not designed to be carnivores (notice the lack of fangs). However, we were also not intended to be herbivores, either. Though the rebuttal is weak, you simply cannot compare human design to natural, carnivorous predators.

If animals can hunt to eat, why can’t we? While our animal friends venture into their habitats and kill in need of food, it is important to note that they have no moral compass as humans do. While meat may have been beneficial to human beings at the beginning of time, it is simply not necessary in this a day and age.

Where would I get my protein from? Though it may be trickier to consume the daily amount of protein we need on a vegan diet, there are plenty


of plant-based proteins in some affordable and delicious finds that can substitute all types of meat. These include: • • • • • • •

Lentils Chickpeas Black beans Nuts Hemp seeds Chia seeds Tofu

The list of proteins that do not come from animal meat seemingly goes on and on.

Ever yone would need to stop eating meat in order for my meatfree diet to make a difference Just one person abstaining from eating meat has a very clear-cut difference. Depending on the diet, one person refraining from eating meat for a year could result in upwards of hundreds of fewer animals being killed. Vegetarian calculator even estimates that if one person switched to a vegetarian diet, 202 animals would be saved because of it per year.

I love the taste of meat and could never stop eating it Trust me, I get it. I crave to sink my teeth into a juicy cheeseburger just as much as the next person. That being said, there are plenty of delicious, meat-like alternatives that can help keep one from missing meat.

It’s unhealthy Ingredients like cauliflower, mushrooms, soy and tofu are just a few things that can substitute both the texture and taste of most meat products. Surprisingly enough, they are unnervingly convincing. I once had a vegan hotdog that tasted so similar to pork, I was convinced the vendor was playing a trick on me. Alas, it was only tofu.

If we do not kill animals, they will eat all of the grains and grass, thus harming the planet Meat has a bigger impact on the environment than any other food we as humans consume. In order to make room for livestock, humans have cleared massive amounts of land that used to be the home of both threatened and endangered species. In addition to land, livestock is one of the largest users of water. Pollution created by the livestock sector is certainly not helping anyone, as well, and this sector is one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gases, which are detrimental to climate change.

Eating one hamburger a day can increase one’s risk of dying by a third. Eating red or processed meat can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and meat consumption is associated with many other major diseases, as well. It is high in both saturated fat and cholesterol, which can leads to things like heart disease. The meat you are consuming is not hormone free. The list goes on and on.

Let’s wrap this up With all this being said, Thailand is regarded as one of the most vegetarian-friendly countries in Southeast Asia. The Asian Correspondent even reported that behind Seychelles, Thailand has the lowest annual meat consumption per capita (kg), coming in at 25.8. It is also home to a staggering number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants. That does not mean that there is no room for improvement, however. Whether you take on a weekday vegetarian diet or even make every Monday a meat-less one, we can all improve both our diets and the planet this New Year.

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Spa & Wellness

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01 HARNESSING the spiritual power of yoga amidst a stress-free and inspiring environment with 180-degree views of Bangkok from the 26th floor, LifeStyles on 26, Centara Grand at CentralWorld offers the ultimate zen experience of yoga without ever having to leave the city. The weekly Yoga Fly classes are available on Mondays from 7.45-8.45pm and cost B400 per session. Save big on the packages with B3,500 for ten classes and B6,000 for 20 classes. 02-100-6299. www.centarahotelsresorts.com/centaragrand/cgcw/services

Get your year off to a healthy start and enjoy a newfound energy with Verita Health Maha Nakhon’s “Radiance Elegance” package. The treatment includes an energy boost from Verita’s Signature vitamin formula followed by a special radiance facial treatment and completes the process with Verita Health’s Relaxing Tea consisting of Lavender, Peppermint and Chamomile. The package is available at B5,800 only until February 28, 2018. 0-2115-7553. www.veritalife.com

05 01 02 03 04 05

SOAR ABOVE THE CITY WITH FLY YOGA AT LIFESTYLES ON 26 THE ULTIMATE THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE AT AISAWAN SPA ‘SAKURA SPA SECRETS’ AT SPA CENVAREE LOOK RADIANT FOR 2018 DIY TREATMENT PACKAGE WITH SPA CENVAREE’S “SPA BUFFET”

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EXPERIENCE a truly relaxing 60-minute “Ultimate Therapeutic Massage” at Aisawan Spa. Starts with a 30-minute foot massage followed by a 30-minute traditional Thai body massage, the package is specifically created for those suffering from office syndrome symptoms. The key benefits include improvement of blood circulation, better joint mobility and reducing muscle tensions. The package is available from today until March 31, at B650++ per person. 038 411 940-8. www.pullmanpattayahotelg.com

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03 THE new ‘Spa Buffet’ package is exactly what it sounds like: simply choose from our treatment menu to create the perfect combination that’s right for you. The buffet ranges from a quick steam therapy session to various types of indulgent scrubs, wraps and massages. Priced at B3,300 net, each buffet provides two hours of relaxation. Book today and receive the complimentary ‘Heavenly Vanilla Shea Butter’ (normally priced at B495). 0-2100-1234 ext 6511, 6516. www.spacenvaree.com/spa/centaragrand-centralworld-bangkok THE new ‘Sakura Spa Secrets’ is specifically designed to delight the senses while offering 120-minutes of total-body-bliss, leaving your muscles relaxed, your skin feeling cleansed and your mind rejuvenated. The experience includes a foot cleansing ritual followed by Sakura Body Scrub, Sakura Body Massage and a complimentary refreshment. The two-hour session is priced at B2,568 net per person available at Spa Cenvaree, located on the 26th floor at Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld. 02100-1234 ext 6511, 6516. www.spacenvaree.com/spa/centara-grand-centralworld-bangkok


Expat Women

ZEN COOL KIDS

MICHAEL KORS SPRING 2018 COLLECTION

VALIRAM Group proudly presents the two latest Michael Kors Spring 18 collections for women. The collection launch was attended by numerous A-list models and celebrities at W Hotel.

THE new and improved Zen Cool Kids zone is on the department store’s 6th floor. The kingdom of fun, colours and creativity offers over 200 children’s brands products. The grand opening of the new zone featured Zen Little Influencers presenting adorable bright young things with their hip and cool parents.

ZERO WASTE DINNER BY SIAM DISCOVERY

ANOTHER STORY MAGICAL RUNWAY

THE lifestyle concept store, Another Story, introduces LittleFox, a Thai childrenswear brand designed for fashion-forward kids and parents. The LittleFox AW17 Moonage Daydream collection was launched in a unique fashion show joined by The Mall Group’s executives and the LittleFox owner as well as many celebrity moms at Another Story store, 4th floor Helix Quartier, The EmQuartier.

SIAM DISCOVERY recently introduced “Ecotopia: Asia’s Leading Eco Lifestyle & Well Being Destination” on the fourth floor of Siam Discovery. The 900-sqm carries five products categories: Eco Health Conscious Food, Eco Organic Beauty & Spa, Eco Sustainable Fashion, Eco Home and Decor and Eco Gadget and Stationery, with 3,000 healthy and eco-friendly items from over 100 brands.

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DIPLOMATS p Meet the people uniting nations

His Excellency Meir Shlomo PhD New Israeli Ambassador opens up about his country's successes and its many challenges

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Diplomat: H.E. Meir Shlomo PhD

New Israeli Ambassador opens up about his country’s successes and its many challenges Words MAXMILIAN WECHSLER

In a forthright and candid interview, Dr Meir Shlomo discusses trade with Thailand and the popularity of Israel with Thai workers, the significance of new coalitions with other Middle East nations, growing anti-Semitism in Europe, Jerusalem’s new role, and his hopes for the country’s future

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IS Excellency Dr Meir Shlomo’s credentials for representing his native Israel as Ambassador to Thailand are excellent. Not only is he an accomplished diplomat, but his forebears were also among the members of the farflung Jewish diaspora who had already returned to their ancestral homeland before the state of Israel was re-established on May 14, 1948. Dr Shlomo took up his post in Thailand on August 11, 2017, just a few months short of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration in which the British government signalled support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. The declaration was made during World War I in a letter dated November 2, 1917, from UK Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community. It was the first expression of support for the establishment of a Jewish homeland by significant political power and set in motion a chain of events that have played a vital role in shaping the world we live in.

Background “My parents were both born in Israel in 1929,” the ambassador said at the start of our interview at his office in the Israeli embassy compound. “My grandparents came from Aden, which used to be a British colony and was later called the Democratic Republic of South Yemen, although it was neither “democratic” nor a “republic”.

Anyway, my grandparents came to Jerusalem in 1927 when there was a big pogrom in Aden, which had a large Jewish community. Many Jews were killed, but most escaped. Since Aden was a British colony half of them went to the United Kingdom. The other half, including my grandparents, came to Jerusalem. I was born in Tel Aviv in 1954.”

Return to Thailand Like all Israeli citizens, male and female, Ambassador Shlomo joined the Israeli Defense Forces when he turned 18. “After serving in the army for three years, I backpacked around Asia with my girlfriend who later became my wife. We visited India, Nepal and Burma before coming to Thailand. I spent two months here in 1980. I went to the North and South and spent time in Bangkok as well. It was a lot of fun, and I decided that I would come back someday.” After returning to Israel, Dr Shlomo resumed his studies and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), in November 1981. Before coming to Thailand, he held diplomatic posts in El Salvador, Peru, Denmark, India and the United States. This is his first posting as ambassador, and he is also non-resident ambassador to Cambodia. “I presented my credentials to His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun on November 28 and to the Cambodian King, His Majesty Norodom Sihamoni in Phnom Penh on November 22. “I have been to Thailand a few times since my first trip in 1980. When I was posted in India in the mid-1990s, I came here for a one-week visit. In 2009 I was invited by the Thai MFA to conduct a workshop on public diplomacy.

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Ambassador Meir Shlomo presents Letters of Credence to His Majesty the King

I came here with a colleague. We were both impressed at what a sparkling international city Bangkok had become. I was quite stunned at all the progress since my last visit. The skyline is very amazing.”

Bilateral relations

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he government to government relationship between Thailand and Israel is very good,” said Ambassador Shlomo. “Official diplomatic relations between our countries were established on June 23, 1954. For over 60 years we have experienced continuous cooperation and knowledge sharing in many areas, including agriculture, water management, business startups, technological innovations, education, medicine and culture. “We have an excellent, balanced trade worth US$1.2 billion both sides and we are hoping to push that upward. We export to Thailand mainly our know-how, as well as irrigation equipment, chemicals and high-tech products. We are buying from Thailand fully assembled cars with steering wheels on the left side, electric circuits and foods like canned fish. “The main thing I would like to accomplish while here is helping to put in place a free trade agreement between Israel and Thailand. It’s a process that we started some time ago, and it’s gotten stuck a little bit. I am convinced it will be mutually beneficial to go forward and reach an agreement. We are currently negotiating an FTA with Vietnam. To stay competitive in the region, it’s in Thailand’s interest to do the same. Israeli businesses can fit very well in Thailand’s economic plan “Thailand 4.0”, which stresses high technology, including financial-tech and cyber-tech. Israel has a lot to offer in these areas. It’s an opportunity for both sides to take advantages of our strengths. “The FTA is the main thrust of our embassy, but of course I am also dedicated to enhancing political, peopleto-people and cultural relations between our two countries. “Thailand is a great country for tourists from all over the world and a very attractive destination for Israelis. Around 200,000 of my countrymen, old and young, come here every year. This is actually about two percent of the population of Israel. So there are an awful lot of peopleto-people relationships and connections being created.

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Unfortunately, only a few thousand Thai tourists visit Israel annually. We want to attract many more.” Israel has no problem attracting Thai workers. “Currently there are about 25,000 Thais employed mostly in the agricultural sector, and there are long lines of their compatriots waiting to join them. A Thai worker can stay in Israel only five years, so there is a constant turnover. There are also about 120 Thais who received scholarships to study agriculture in Israel. They have a special study program that allows them to get work experience outside at the same time. “By now everybody in Israel knows that Thais are excellent workers and we appreciate their contribution to our agricultural sector. Our government and the Thai embassy in Israel have formed a partnership to take care of the workers. We have made a lot of improvements to the system, and these have benefitted the workers. In former times private recruiting companies in Thailand would recruit Thai workers and send them to Israel. These private companies would charge the workers a lot of money. Every Thai worker was paying up to US$10,000 to work in Israel. “Five years ago we changed that with a very interesting model of cooperation that is the first of its kind in the world. The Israeli government together with the Thai government and the UN-affiliated International Organization for Migration (IOM) cut out all the private companies. The IOM now recruits the workers and they pay only US$1,500. For that, they get training, medical insurance, information and much more. “This does not include airfare of course. The whole recruitment procedure is very orderly and designed to run with minimum expenses for the workers. It’s a clean operation. The IOM does the recruiting in Bangkok and also in Northeast Thailand. IOM officials do the screening, interviews and physical check-ups and they give workers information. “We are committed to protecting the rights of Thai workers in Israel. We have a hotline with Thai speakers who can assist workers who have problems receiving their salaries or with any other problem. The workers can also call the Thai embassy in Tel Aviv, which is run by a new and very efficient ambassador, Her Excellency Penprapa Vongkovit. I know that she always does her best. I think we have a perfect model in place to make sure that nobody is taking advantage of foreign workers and they are treated fairly while in Israel. We are very proud of it, and the Thai government and the IOM should be too. Unfortunately not too many people in Thailand know about it.”

Israel’s challenges “The main challenge in the future for Israel is to find a peaceful solution to the conflicts with our neighbours. This is definitely the number one challenge and we have been trying to do it since the State of Israel was established in 1948. We have had some successes. We have a peace agreement with Egypt and with Jordan, and we have cordial relations, which may not be official, with some of the moderate Arab countries. “The second challenge, of course, is to ensure the continued prosperity of our country, so that all Israelis can lead fulfilling lives and provide for their families. The Israeli economy is doing pretty well. During the


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Tel Aviv

Haifa

Haifa

2008 global economic crisis, we came out pretty good. We didn’t have Tel Aviv any meltdown or collapse. In the past decade, our per capita income averaged about US$36,000 per year, which puts us in the top 20 countries in the world. Our goal is to increase it to US$40,000. “More and more we see that strong commercial ties with Southeast Asia are important to economic growth. This is a huge emerging market that Jerusalem in the past we didn’t target very well because of the distances involved. But now we are focused on enhancing our relationship with Thailand and the region in all spheres. It used to be that Israeli companies would operate only in Europe and the US, but now there are many functioning very well in Asia.”

Water security “For a long time, people said the next war in the Middle East would be over water because it is very scarce in the region. Actually, the Six-Day War was partly caused by a conflict we had with Syria over water. You can’t do agriculture without water and from the start agriculture has been our main source of employment, much like Thailand. “We knew we had to solve the water problem somehow, and the way we’ve done it is through desalination projects. Today we have enough water because we’ve developed technology to take salt from seawater and transform it to drinking water and water for agriculture. You could say that rather than try to share the same pie we made the pie bigger. In other words, we no longer have to compete with our neighbours for the limited amount of water from rivers in the region. Instead, we have developed a new source of water, and now we are exporting to other countries. “Under our peace treaty with Jordan, we supply the Jordanians with 50,000 cubic metres of water through a

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pipeline. This water helps Jordanian farmers. So, through Israeli technology and know-how, we have taken the possibility of war over water off the table. Many countries are facing water shortages, and we help some of them with desalination projects. “We are also big on recycling water. When it comes to recycling drainage water Israel is number one in the world. We clean it to the degree that it becomes drinkable. It’s perfectly healthy to drink, but we don’t drink it because psychologically people are uncomfortable about it. We use it in agriculture, for example.”

Rising Anti-Semitism The ambassador said Israelis tend to feel very comfortable in Thailand and Southeast Asia in general. “This region has little of the anti-Semitism you see elsewhere. Almost everyone I meet here has a good friendly attitude toward Israel and Israelis. Of course, people are aware of the troubles in our part of the world, but they are also aware of the innovations my country is developing in agriculture and technology. “But around the world, many people take a negative view of Israel no matter what we do, and this has been made worse than ever before because of social media where numbers matter. In the last five or six years, a lot of Jews have migrated to Israel from Western Europe because they, unfortunately, don’t feel safe. There are also more Jews migrating to Israel from Eastern Europe because of antiSemitism. “We have room for every Jew who wants to come to Israel. They don’t have to come, but those who do will be allowed to enter the country and obtain citizenship as always. Israel started out in 1948 with only 650,000 of us. Now the population is 8.4 million, and we can absorb more than that. This was the original purpose; Israel was established to be a home for all Jews. Any time Jews find themselves in a situation where nobody wants them, as has happened so many times in the past, they know they have a homeland to go.”


New Middle East coalition “The situation in the Middle East is quite interesting at this time. A lot of things have changed in the past few years. Major Arab Sunni countries have realised that Israel is not their enemy and we have many common interests. For example, they see Iran as a threat. This is what we have been saying for a long time. Now the Saudis, Egyptians and the Gulf countries all realise this. They are not going to break off diplomatic relations with Iran, but the fact of the matter is that new coalitions are forming in the Middle East. “There is a coalition of the moderate countries that have the same interests as Israel, and on the other side are radical extremist countries like Iran, Libya, and Iraq. I don’t have to tell you what is going in Syria. It’s genocide being perpetrated by one side on their people. Libya is a basket case. Iraq is not exactly a model of stability either. ISIS has been diminished, but unfortunately, ISIS is not going to go away completely. They will come back with another name. The problem is still going to be there. “All these radical countries are on one side and the moderate Arab countries are on the other side, and they realise that Israel is not their enemy. It’s that simple. From our point of view, this is a major development in the Middle East.”

Jerusalem

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he ambassador said he wasn’t surprised at all the negative reaction following the formal US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “We can cope with it. We are hoping that this will be like other issues where most of the world said we were wrong, and we were proven right. Case in point: When Israel destroyed the nuclear reactor of Saddam Hussein in 1981 it was condemned by most of the countries in the world-however they all realised later that we did the right thing. Can you imagine the Gulf War against Saddam had he processed a nuclear weapon? Maybe some of these countries that are against it now will later come to recognise that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel for the simple reason that it is. “In fact, Jerusalem has been the capital for our people for 3,000 years. Today the Knesset [the Israeli Parliament], the Supreme Court and other government buildings are there. It is the biggest city in Israel and it is the heart of the country. It’s little disturbing when other countries are trying to tell you what should be your capital. I think that justice will prevail and they will come to see what we see. “Of course, the Palestinians are not happy about it. Every time we suggest a deal they say ‘no, no, we don’t want to take it because it is not enough for us. It is either our way or the highway’. Just take this example. On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly approved a US plan to establish two countries: Israel and Palestine. The Palestinians rejected the plan saying ‘it is not enough for us’. And what happened? They are still without a Palestinian state. It always has been the policy of the Palestinians to ask for more, and if you don’t give them more, they will reject everything. It is everything or nothing for them. Actually, we didn’t like the partition plan either because we thought

we were getting too little, but we were very pragmatic about it, and our leaders decided to accept it. “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. They think the time is on their side but actually, if you look back, time is working against them. Instead of celebrating 70 years of a Palestinian state side by side with Israel as they would be if they had accepted the UN resolution, they still have nothing. “Likewise, Yasser Arafat didn’t accept the peace deal put together by President Clinton in 2000 and instead the Palestinians launched the second intifada. Mahmoud Abbas [President of the Palestinian National Authority] was offered a good accord in 2008, but he rejected it. They keep rejecting everything and come out with nothing. Is that good for the Palestinian people? I don’t think so. If they think that they will get everything they want one of these days, they are wrong. They will have to settle for some compromises, or they will get nothing.”

Final words Ambassador Shlomo hasn’t had much free time to explore the country as yet, but he hopes to do so. “I am really happy to have been given the opportunity to come back to Thailand, and I am looking forward to the next four years. I am still learning about the country’s history and trying to pick up a little Thai when I have the time,” said the ambassador, who can speak Hebrew, English, Spanish, French and a little Danish. “I was in Denmark for three years, but I failed to learn the language. It’s a tough language, as is Hebrew. I am finding Thai a bit difficult as well, and I am not going to pretend I will be speaking fluent Thai anytime soon. But at the least, I really want to be able to have a simple conversation in Thai. I want to get to know the people here. At the end of the day, this is the most important thing a diplomat does.”

CV of H.E. Meir Shlomo PhD

Education • 2014: PhD (summa cum laude) University Paris 8. • 1987: MA (cum laude) mass communications, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. • 1983: BA (cum laude) Political Science, Tel Aviv University. Professional Experience • 2014: Head of the North American Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). • 2010-2014: Ambassador and Consul General and Head of the Israeli Mission, Houston, Texas, USA. • 2007-2010: Adviser on strategic affairs to the division of Public Diplomacy at the MFA. • 2002-2006: Consul General and Head of Mission, Boston Massachusetts, USA. • 1998-2002: Director of Public Diplomacy at the MFA. • 1995-1998: Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Israel, India. • 1992-1995: Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Israel, Denmark. • 1989-1992: Head of Liaison Office for academic affairs at the MFA. • 1987-1989: Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Israel, Peru. • 1984-1987: Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Israel, El Salvador.

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Feature

Thailand from an Islamic view By Maxmilian Wechsler

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ARONG Vongsumitr has been looking after the interests of Thai Muslims for decades. As Foreign Affairs adviser to the spiritual leader of Thai Muslims, Aziz Phitakkumpon, the Chularajmontri (Sheikhul Islam) of Thailand, and Chairman of Foreign Relations for the Foundation of Islamic Centre of Thailand, he is highly respected by members of the Bangkok diplomatic corps. Mr Narong has also built a successful career in finance and served as an adviser to the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs from 20042006 and honorary adviser to the President of the National Assembly from 2009-2012. Such credentials make him extremely well qualified to discuss issues relating to Thailand’s large Muslim community. “Freedom of all religions is guaranteed in the Thai constitution, and all Thai Kings have affirmed the importance of freedom of religion,” says Mr Narong at the beginning of this interview. “With some

Mr Narong Vongsumitr

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The Foreign Affairs Adviser for ten million Muslims in Thailand, Narong Vongsumitr, talks frankly about historical links with this country, donations from Saudi and Qatari governments for education and religious purposes, the unresolved theft of jewellery from a Saudi royal palace, and the continuing unrest in southern Thailand exceptions, mostly in the South, the big majority of Thai Muslims are happy in this country and Muslims are well represented in every institution and profession – business, the police force, military and so on. Thai Muslims enjoy the full support of the state to practice and to teach their religion here.” He added that Muslims from other countries also have a favourable view of Thailand and like to come here for holidays or medical treatments. “Generally speaking, they prefer to visit and take up residence here in

Australia, New Zealand or European countries. They feel free here and can find food to their liking anytime day or night. Living here is easy, and the medical care is excellent and affordable, which is not the case in Western countries.”

Background Born in Bangkok in 1938, Mr Narong graduated from Assumption Commercial College in 1962. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Economics from


Cairo University in Egypt in 1969 and studied Arabic at Al Azhar University in Cairo from 1964 to 1970. He was an assistant tour supervisor for the Anglo Thai Company in Bangkok in the mid-1970s, before becoming acting assistant branch manager of the Bangkapi and Pranburi branches of the Bank of Ayutthaya. He then travelled to Saudi Arabia, where he was the personal administrator to the managing director of Al Bilad-Vinnell Ltd. in Al Khobar from 1977 to 1979, and served as manager for the Thai Food Centre in Jeddah from 1981 to 1985. After returning to Thailand, Mr Narong was finance and personnel director for Chiyata Construction

Muslim children study at pondoks from the age of four or five until they are 18 years old. These schools don’t do enough to give the children a proper, rounded education. Company from 1985 to 1988, and then went to work for Thai Nichias Engineering Company in Rayong province, first as administrative and finance director and now as the company’s deputy managing director. Mr Narong spoke about the Islamic Bank of Thailand. “The bank was established in 2002 and began operations in 2003. The bank is owned by the Ministry of Finance and the Government Savings and Krung Thai banks. Anyone can deal with the bank, not only Muslims. The basic principle of Islamic banking is the sharing of profit and loss. The bank doesn’t pay interest. In an Islamic hire-purchase transaction, instead of loaning the buyer money to purchase an item, the bank buys the item from the seller and resells it to the buyer at a profit. The buyer pays the bank back in monthly instalments,” Mr Narong explained.

Selection of spiritual leader “The Chularajmontri is always appointed by the King of Thailand. The current one who is 67 years old was appointed by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on June 6, 2001. His term expires when he passes away,” Mr Narong said. “Prior to his appointment by the King, the actual selection of Chularajmontri is done by committees from mosques all over Thailand. Each committee includes an imam and 7-15 others from 39 provinces provided each one has more than three mosques. Several nominees are voted on by about 750 prominent Muslims and after the selection is made it is sent to the Thai King for approval. “The headquarters of the Chularajmotri is located in Nong Chok district, Bangkok, and there are spiritual offices in about 39 provinces.

If a province has more than three mosques, a committee can be set up to nominate a representative to come to the head office in Bangkok for meetings. The committee also makes decisions on Islamic activities in the province. Not all Thai provinces have a mosque; about 40-50 provinces have at least one mosque.”

Active communications Mr Narong’s work with the Islamic Centre brings him in close contact with officials and spiritual leaders in about 25 predominantly Muslim countries. These include Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Egypt, Iran, Indonesia, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Turkey and Uzbekistan. “I also keep in touch with many people in non-Muslim countries, for

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Photo courtesy of Mr Narong Vongsumitr HM Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun is greeted by H.E. Aziz Phitakkumpon, the Chularajmontri of Thailand on the anniversary of the prophet Muhammad birthday in Nong Chok on April 8, 2017. Mr Narong (middle) is looking on.

example, Australia, France, India, Myanmar, New Zealand, South Korea, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom and the United States. I communicate with ambassadors, charge d’affaires and other officials who are interested in learning about Muslims in Thailand and how various Muslim organisations here operate. I attend many functions in foreign countries and also invite members of the local diplomatic community to various Muslim festivals in Thailand.” Mr Narong said that at present about 10 million Muslims live in Thailand, approximately 7.5 million in the 14 southern provinces and two million in and around Bangkok, including Thonburi and Nong Chok districts and in Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Nayok and Chachoengsao provinces. The rest live mostly in the North. Some websites have lower estimates of the Muslim population in Thailand, but their numbers aren’t correct. “The Muslims in southern Thailand are mainly Malay and may have family ties in Brunei and Indonesia. Most Muslims living in and around Bangkok are originally from southern Thailand, while those

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Devout Muslims should pray five times per day,” said Mr Narong, “at 5am, 12.30pm, 3.40pm, around 6pm and finally at 7.30pm. If you have no time to pray during the day, then you can substitute the times, but it is important that prayers be made five times a day. in northern Thailand are more likely to be from Bangladesh, China, Myanmar or possibly Pakistan.” Mr Narong said there are more than 4,000 mosques throughout Thailand, around 183 of them in Bangkok. The biggest of these is on Ramkhamhaeng Road. The oldest mosque in the capital is Ton Son mosque in Bangkok Yai district near the Chao Phraya River close to the Royal Naval Dockyard. Muslims moved to this area from Ayutthaya around 200 years ago. Another mosque in Bangkok near the

Shangri-la Hotel is about 200 years old. One famous mosque on Charoen Krung Road Soi 99 is a little over 100 years old. The oldest mosque in Thailand, built about 400 years ago, is in Pattani province, and the biggest mosque in Thailand is there as well. “Devout Muslims should pray five times per day,” said Mr Narong, “at 5am, 12.30pm, 3.40pm, around 6pm and finally at 7.30pm. If you have no time to pray during the day, then you can substitute the times, but it is important that prayers be made five times a day. “Despite their diverse backgrounds, Muslims in Thailand get on well with one another. Most Muslims outside of Bangkok are involved in agriculture and many own their land. A significant number of Thai Muslims are involved in the trade, especially around Bangkok.”

Education “There are between 4,000 and 5,000 Islamic religious schools (pondoks) in Thailand, mainly in the South,” said Mr Narong. “Besides religious studies they teach Arabic, Thai and Malayu languages. After a student graduates from one of these schools they are


often able to get a scholarship to study further in Egypt, Iran, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia or Indonesia. For example, Egypt gives 80 scholarships every year to Thai students. “Muslim children study at pondoks from the age of four or five until they are 18 years old. These schools don’t do enough to give the children a proper, rounded education. Some foreign teachers at these schools can influence the children as well,” said Mr Narong without elaborating.

H

e said Thai Muslims also study at government and international schools in Thailand. Turkey has international schools in Bangkok and in Chiang Mai. Many Muslim students continue their studies at government universities such as Chulalongkorn, Kasetsart, Ramkhamhaeng, Ratchapat, Thammasat and the University of Pattani. The latter university has an extensive Islamic studies program. “The Saudi and Qatari governments have donated a lot of money to the University of Pattani to improve educational capabilities. The Saudi government gave 65 million baht to the university to purchase about 30 rai of land and build a mosque. The design was done by a Turkish company, with Thai workers doing the construction. “Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and other Muslim countries are giving money to various charities, schools, hospitals and foundations in Thailand. About 80-90 percent of the donations are going to the South. “The Thai government also gives financial assistance to Islamic educational institutions, helps with the construction of some larger mosques, and sometimes funds pilgrimages to Mecca for Muslims from South Thailand. Mr Narong said that in the past the quota given by the Saudis for Thai Muslims making the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca was 13,000, but that’s been cut to 10,000. “The Chularajmontri or his representative goes to Mecca for Hajj every year and stays there two or three weeks. Thai Muslims can

go to Mecca at any other time with no restrictions. Groups going there usually consist of 40-150 people.”

Southern unrest One of Mr Narong’s most important roles is assisting the Chularajmontri and the Islamic Centre in their attempts to resolve the conflict in the three southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala. “The Chularajmontri and everyone around him are working with the government to solve this problem,” said Mr Narong, noting that the unrest has been going on for years and has claimed thousands of lives. His assessment of the current situation in the region is rather grim. “In the past Muslims in the

Mr Narong in Mecca

South Thailand were making a good living from rubber, fishing and palm plantations. Now it’s very difficult to do anything because of the unsettled climate. “Muslims in the South want to govern themselves and have basic freedoms, but they don’t want to separate from Thailand. They have been living there for generations without problems. They want to wake up, have breakfast, tend to their agriculture, look after their gardens and go fishing, like they did before all this started. They really don’t need much to live a happy life. Unfortunately, some in the younger generation just want to fight.’ “Now southern Muslims are afraid because they are surrounded by officials and soldiers who are

looking for people. For decades officials who committed offenses were often transferred to the South as a punishment, and many of these officials are still there doing bad things. Instead of sending so many officials to the South the government should be constructing new schools not all pondoks, of course. Children should study all subjects.” Mr Narong said he disagrees with the notion of dual Thai and Malaysian citizenship for Muslims in the South. “If Thai Muslims can have jobs and a good income they will be happy like their Malaysian counterparts.”

Saudi dilemma For many years the government of Saudi Arabia has had a grievance with the Thai government that has resulted in the downgrading of diplomatic relations. The grievance stems from the 1989 theft of royal jewelry by a Thai national working as a gardener at the palace. Subsequently four Saudi officials were murdered in 1990, apparently in connection with the case. One of the officials was close to the Saudi royal family. He disappeared in February 1990 and was presumably murdered. His body was never found. Several days before three officials from the Saudi embassy were shot dead in Bangkok. “It is up to the Thai government to solve the problem, Mr Narong pointed out and also said: “The Chularajmontri can advise them, but relations between the Saudi and Thai governments can’t be normalized until important issues are addressed. The Thai authorities arrested the gardener, Kriangkrai Techamong, after he returned to Thailand. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and released after three years. “When the stolen jewels were returned to the Saudi officials it was discovered that about half were fakes. The Saudis were very dissatisfied with the Thai authorities’ investigation of the crime. They demanded detailed information on the results but apparently never got it. They also want the Thai authorities to arrest and prosecute the murderers of the four Saudi nationals.”

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p Last month’s best events in pictures

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Social|Last Month’s Best Events

DACSEE SETS NEW BENCHMARK FOR GLOBAL RIDE-HAILING INDUSTRY

DACSEE or the Decentralised Alternative Cabs Serving & Empowering Everyone is a new ride-hailing platform that will revolutionise the world’s ridesharing industry. The new decentralised design will allow for a more transparent and enforceable social and economic benefits for all parties involved.

TOPPING-OFF CEREMONY AT NOVOTEL IBIS STYLES

THE president of the Erawan Group PCL recently led a topping-off ceremony at the new combined hotel project, Novotel ibis Styles Bangkok Sukhumvit Soi 4. The group’s top management attended the event, and the new hotel is expected to open in October 2018 offering 331 rooms.

RAIMON LAND PARTNERS WITH BAAN YING FAMILY GROUP “OUAY AN OSOTH” RECEIVE THE THAI FDA QUALITY AWARD

MANAGING Director of Ouay Un Osoth Co, Ltd, 70-year experience in manufacturing and distributing the exceptional herbal medicines, recently represented the company to receive the Thai FDA Quality Award 2018 for the fifth time by Food and Drug Administration Thailand, Ministry of Public Health in the pharmaceutical organisation category. 108

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LEADING real estate developer Raimon Land PCL partnered with Baan Ying Family Group to bring genuine Thai cuisine to Singapore. Due to open later this year it is an upscale restaurant overlooking Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River. The group plans to expand across Southeast Asia and China, opening 10-15 outlets by 2020. Target cities include Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Guangzhou.


NAME CHANGE FOR THE HOTEL PR & MARCOM SOCIETY THAILAND THE new president of Hotel PR Association recently announced a name change to Hotel PR & Marcom Society Thailand to adapt to the Thailand 4.0 era. The election for the new president of the society was held at Jamjuree, Banyan Tree Bangkok and the head of Marketing Communications from Kingston Hotels Group, Phaphassorn Chakkaphak, received the most votes.

AMBASSADORS TO THAILAND VISIT NEWEST HOTEL

SOLITAIRE Bangkok is the newest hotel to open on Sukhumvit Soi 11, opening its doors to the public on December 1, 2017. The owner and General Manager were pleased and honoured to welcome 21 ambassadors for the filming of “The Diplomat Specials 2017”, a TV special that invites ambassadors and their spouses to express their Christmas and New Year wishes to the Thai people which aired on TNN 24 and Travel Channel over the two-week period from December 24, until a week after the new year. The programme is produced by Varin Sachdev, a famous MC, News Anchor & Editor-in-Chief of the Nomad programme.

PROVIDING SUPPORT FOR DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN

THE management of Pathumwan Princess Hotel visited Nonthaphum Home in Nonthaburi province to present cash donations and gifts for the children. Pathumwan Princess Hotel provides support for Nonthaphum Home as part of its “Tree for Life” project. TheBigChilli 109


Beyond Bangkok

Bed & Brews  HAVE fun with family and friends,

raise cold glasses and enjoy all the comforts of home when you book a stay with us at Fourpoints by Sheraton. The package includes free Best Brews, three tastings beer sampler at The Drunken Leprechaun per person per stay; free daily international breakfast buffet up to two persons, free WiFi internet access throughout your stay and more. Rate starts at B3,800++. The special offer is valid for reservations made by March 31 for stays up to April 30. 02 309 3000. www.fourpoints.com

Special Valentine’s Day at 9Hornbills Luxury Pool Tents THE high-end luxury safari tented villas at Koyao Island Resort on Koh Yao Noi, Phang Nga is the perfect location to make this Valentine’s special. Stay in the 9Hornbills Luxury Pool Tent for B25,000 per night for two for a minimum stay of three nights and receive complimentary sparkling wine welcome drinks, private round trip transfer from Phuket or Krabi Airport, 60-minute body massage for two and candlelight set dinner with a bottle of Prosecco sparkling wine. Terms and conditions applied. This package is available from January 10 to February 28, only. 076 597 474. www.koyao.com

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

Special promotion at Mövenpick Hotel Sukhumvit 15

OFFERING an unforgettable experience, Mövenpick Hotel Sukhumvit 15 Bangkok presents the special rate for Executive Suite with benefits. The 60-sqm room comes with all the high-tech amenities required to make your stay comfortable. The special promotion for the Executive Suite includes the Club benefits and chocolate hour between 4-5pm daily at Lelawadee restaurant. Rate starts from B7,299 net. 02 119 3100. www.facebook.com/ movenpickbangkok

Journey of Relaxation at eforea spa EXPERIENCE ultimate relaxation at the eforea spa, Hilton Pattaya. Choose between Journey 1, a luxurious deep exfoliating body scrub to remove dead skin and ensure a smooth finish. The two-hour package is priced at B4,400 per person and B8,000 per couple. Journey 2, immerse in a two-hour spa treatment inclusive of body massage and finish with hydrating facial treatment, priced at B4,800 per person and B8,800 per couple. The packages are available from now until April 30. 038 253 000. www.pattaya.hilton.com

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Amara Bangkok Chinese New Year Specials

AMARA Bangkok brings a special package for this year’s Chinese New Year celebration. Guests booking from January 1 to February 15 for stays between February 12 - 25 will receive special room rates: the Deluxe room is B4,200++, Executive Room B4,500++ and Club Room B5,500++ per night. Guests can also enjoy various perks such as complimentary breakfast, a Chinese New Year welcome gift, a one-day pass BTS Skytrain ticket and a Thai Passion at Element set dinner. Terms and conditions applied. 02 021 8888. www.facebook.com/amarabangkok


Beyond Bangkok SURPRISE your loved one and treat  him or her to a romantic and unforgettable night at Rim Talay Bar & Grill Dusit Thani Hua Hin on Wednesday, February 14, with a five-course set dinner on the beach. Priced at B5,800++ per couple inclusive of a bottle of selected wine. The promotion is available from 6.30 - 10pm. 031 520 009 ext 2013. www.dusit.com

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THE ‘On the Rocks’ Bar offers special  promotions include the buy one get one

01 “Forever in Love” Valentine’s Dates at Dusit Thani Hua Hin 02 Miang Pla Tuna at Radius Restaurant 03 Ribs N’ Wings Night at Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa 04 Exclusive lounge benefits at Amari Hua Hin 05 ‘On the Rocks’ Bar at Cape Nidhra Hotel, Hua Hin 06 Special menu for the day of love INDULGE in the traditional Thai  appetiser at Radius Restaurant, Cape Dara

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Resort. Guests can enjoy the rare yet delicious wrap tuna sashimi in betel leaf, filled with your choice of aromatic fillings such as chilli, nuts, garlic and more. The dish is priced at B295++. 038 933 888. www.capedarapattaya.com

free (for selected drinks) during the Happy Hour from Saturday to Thursday from 5-7pm. Also enjoy a delectable selection of house wine, local and imported beers, signature cocktails paired with sumptuous choices of food amidst the relaxing atmosphere and live band. The exclusive free-flow package is available every Friday from 5.30-8pm for only B599 net. 032 516 600. www.capecollection.com

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03 PRESENTING the juicy perfection  of Ribs N’ Wings every Thursday nights

at Sundara Sports Lounge, Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa. The finger-licking good experience is priced at B499 net per person and B599 inclusive of a glass of draught beer. 032 708 000 ext 4100. www.facebook.com/Sheraton

ENTERING its sixth year, Amari Hua  Hin recently added Exclusive Lounge

Benefits to their three popular room types: one-bedroom suite, family suite and deluxe ocean-facing view. Guests who book any of these room categories from January 15, 2018, onwards can enjoy complimentary exclusive benefits daily including chef’s selection of canapes, evening house red/white wine, local beer or selected cocktails, complimentary buffet breakfast, late checkout until 3 pm and more. 032 616 600. www.amari.com/huahin

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04 CENTARA Grand Beach Resort  & Villas Hua Hin presents a special

Valentine’s Day menu at Acqua and COAST restaurants. Presenting diners with exquisite four-course dinners starting from B1,200 net per person, guests can enjoy an array of delectable dishes amidst the beautiful views of the beach. 032 512 021. www.facebook.com/ CentaraGrandBeachResortandVillasHuaHin


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HORIZON Rooftop Restaurant & Bar  at Hilton Pattaya invites you to experience

creative Valentine’s menus inspired by all-time romantic movies on Valentine’s night. The three-course menu includes dishes like (Roe)meo and Juliet, 50 Shades of Grape, Beauty and the Beef; There’s Something about Strawberry and more. The romantic dinner is priced at B5,950 net per couple inclusive of a welcome drink for two available only on February 14, from 6 - 11pm. 038 253 000. www.pattaya.hilton.com

07 Intimate Dining Experience on Valentine’s Day 08 Saturday Chill & Grill by the sea in Pranburi 09 The Sunsational Golf experience in Hua Hin 10 The Bodega Fever at Pullman Pattaya Hotel G 11 River Prawn Lovers at Hilton Pattaya 08

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LUNA La Pran restaurant, Sheraton  Hua Hin Pranburi Villas dishes up local

fresh ingredients, highlighting the value of indigenous produce for their flavours and nutritional benefits. The fest offers freshly grilled prime meats, and locally caught treasures of the sea which are available every Saturday at BBQ Chill & Grill by the sea. The sumptuous meal is just B1,490 per person. The meal is available between 6.30-10pm. 032 909 900 ext 3135. www.facebook.com/Sheraton

THE Beach Club Restaurant presents  a Spanish themed buffet with an extensive selection of tapas and paella with live acoustic music by Santos. Available every Wednesday from 7 - 10pm, the meal is B780++ per person inclusive of wine, draft beer and sangria. 038 411 940-8. www.pullmanpattayahotelg.com

11 09 TEE off at some of Thailand’s greatest  golf courses in and around Cha Am and Hua Hin and enjoy the full benefits of the Sunsational Golf Experience package at Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa. The package includes daily buffet breakfast at The Deck, one daily Green Fee (18 holes) at one of the four courses available and enjoy a special Golfer Happy Hour between 6-8pm daily at the Sundara Sports Lounge with buy-one-get-onefree beverages for beer, house wine and standard cocktails. The rates start from B6,190++. 032 708 080. www.facebook.com/Sheraton

SAVOUR the authentic spicy Thai  dishes featuring all-time favourites, river

prawns at Flare Restaurant, Drift Lobby Lounge & Bar and Horizon Rooftop Restaurant & Bar at Hilton Pattaya Hotel. The specials range from B450 net to B1,650 net. Only available until the end of February. 038 253 000. pattaya.hilton.com

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Beyond Bangkok

Royal Varuna Yacht Club celebrates 60th anniversary THAILAND’S famed Royal Varuna Yacht Club held a celebration for its 60th anniversary on Saturday, November 18 with over 200 members joining the gala dinner event held at the clubís ocean-side premises in South Pattaya.

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Beyond Bangkok

A dazzling New Year’s Eve at Pullman Pattaya Hotel G ONE of Pattaya’s most glamorous New Year’s Eve events under the ‘Power of Pop Art’ theme was held by the poolside at the stunning Beach Club Restaurant, Pullman Pattaya Hotel G.

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The BigChilli February 2018  

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

The BigChilli February 2018  

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