86 STORIES FROM THE PAST
Catastrophic collapse of hotel in Korat still ranks amongst world’s deadliest tragedies
8 NEWS STORIES
UK link in crackdown on supercar tax evaders
COVER STORY 24 Schools out, so it’s
time to take the kids to the beach to enjoy the sunshine and endless opportunities to use up all that energy from the months of studying and exams.
Make time to visit Bangkok’s least known ﬂoating market in the city’s ‘Green Lung’
Last month’s best events in pictures
CONTENTS 8 INSIGHT News, gossip, and opinions 20 SECRET BANGKOK A lesser-known attraction in the spotlight 26 THE HOT LIST 20 Great things to see and do in Bangkok and beyond 46 FOOD & DRINK Restaurant deals and dining news
63 NEW ON THE SCENE Hot new restaurants & bars in Bangkok 70 EXPAT WOMEN Shopping, advice, health tips, and top local schools 86 STORIES FROM THE PAST A famous story from the past 116 HUA HIN & PATTAYA News and deals to help you get the most out of your trip
H.E. Andelfo Garcia: Colombian Ambassador gives Thailand high marks as his time here grows short
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Editor’s Blog What they were saying about the ‘grey market’ in supercars back in 2011 SIX years ago, we ran a story entitled ‘Going Grey: The threat to Thailand’s luxury car business’ which highlighted the concerns and suspicions of authorised dealers about a booming trade in imported vehicles worth billions of baht. Last month, the Department of Special Investigation and the Customs Department mounted a crackdown on what may turn out to be an illegal business.
The BigChilli April 2011
Here’s what the dealers were saying back in April 2011: “The grey market is growing. The people involved have a lot of money and a lot of tricks. The number of grey market showrooms is increasing at an alarming rate. The government should step in and impose some conditions on people who want to open showrooms.” “Grey market dealers import second-hand cars in parts to assemble here, only paying the tax for the spare part, which is not much. Meanwhile, the total tax for imported, fully assembled luxury cars like Lamborghini and Astor Martina is 328 percent.” “Actually, according to the Thai customs regulations, it is against the law to import used cars to Thailand, but they are still doing it. Some of them have been even stolen. The grey market has many ways to find the cars.” - Vittawat Chinabarramee, Managing Director of NicheCars Co, responsible for Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Hummer, and Lorinser. “The grey importers are bringing Jaguar cars from England as well. I am afraid that unless something is done here, the situation will get worse and cars will be coming from other places. I would emphasise to the customer that they should buy a car which is legally imported otherwise they might lose it. You should also think about safety considerations.” - Ekarach Nophaket (Jaguar) “The grey market’s a share in the luxury and sports cars business in Thailand at this moment is unbelievable. If you took the amount of advertising they are doing, it is increasing by the week. The grey market affects our business more and more as the price difference is getting wider. Our volume is not as big as, for example, BMW or Mercedes Benz, so we are more affected by the grey market.” “I know for sure - and this applies to a number of brands - that the grey market cars are up to 50 percent cheaper than the official retail price. For Maserati, it is about 25 percent. Eventually, it affects the resale value of the car.” - Khun Danai, General Manager of the Empire Motor Sports Co, sole authorised dealer for Maserati End of fruit wine? FRUIT wine is widely used by hotels and bars as their cheap by-the-glass option and free flow deals. Connoisseurs of genuine wine made from grapes (as opposed to a concoction of variable fruit juices, sulphites and other alien ingredients) have long campaigned against this intruder. Now they are about to have their day, for soon-to-be-introduced tax regulations governing this beverage will make no distinction between fruit wine and real wine. Until now, the attraction of fruit wine has always been the lower duties it attracts and therefore the lower selling price. Hence, the prevalence of fruit wine. Later this year, this price advantage will disappear – and fruit wine along with it, since there’s no point in fobbing off customers with this charade. But it’s a pyrrhic victory for the connoisseurs because these new taxes will make all wines even more expensive. Sadly, Thailand will continue to reign as a country with the world’s most expensive wine. Unhappy ending for Darling massage parlour ONE of Bangkok’s more controversial landmarks, the Darling Massage parlour on Sukhumvit Soi 12, has been demolished. Only a few will shed tears for its demise. Business wasn’t what it used to be. Interestingly, the Darling was originally built as a hotel for American GIs on R&R from Vietnam in the 1960s, becoming a massage parlour when their numbers decreased in the early 70s. It was one of many constructed for the GIs. One of the very few left, the Honey Hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 19, is also due for demolition shortly, bringing to an end a short and increasingly overlooked chapter in Thailand’s recent history. 6
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NAME: ANDREW BIGGS AGE: FOREVER 39 BORN: SUNNYBANK, BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA NICKNAME: CHANG PUEAK OR WHITE ELEPHANT FAMILY MOTTO: REMEMBER ... BLAME IT ON ANDREW FIRST JOB: GROCERY PACKER AT LOCAL SUPERMARKET IN SUNNYBANK COMPANY & POSITION: ‘BIG BOSS’ FOR ANDREW BIGGS ACADEMY. HONESTLY, IT’S ON MY NAMECARD EDUCATION: CURRENTLY STUDYING A MASTER’S DEGREE IN CURRICULUM INNOVATION AT RAMKHAMHAENG UNIVERSITY SPECIAL TALENTS: A MILLON OF ‘EM; MODESTY, FOR ONE HOW LONG IN THAILAND: 28 YEARS WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE: A CHEAP THAI AIRWAYS TICKET TO LONDON WITH A COMPULSORY TWO-DAY STOPOVER IN BANGKOK INTERESTS: KATE BUSH, WRITING, CHOCOLATE BEST PREVIOUS JOB IN THAILAND: EATING NATION JUNIOR MAGAZINE BACK IN THE 1990S. WORKING AT CHANNEL 3 WAS FUN, TOO CURRENT MOOD & USUAL MOOD: STRESSED. STRESSED IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE: I’D LIKE TO BE MORE MOTIVATED, A LITTLE MORE DRIVEN, PERHAPS 10 KG LIGHTER, TOO BEST FRIEND(S): TOO MANY TO MENTION HERE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU’VE MET IN THAILAND: IMPOSSIBLE TO ANSWER … BIGGEST BORE: QIANGTANG RIVER IN CHINA HIGH POINT: READING THE COMMENCEMENT SPEECH IN FRONT OF HRH PRINCESS SIRINTHORN WHEN I GOT MY THAI DEGREE.LOW POINT: DEATHS OF FRIENDS FUNNIEST OR WEIRDEST MOMENT: I ONCE PLAYED MY MOTHER ON NATIONAL TV OTHER THAN THE TRAFFIC, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE DIFFERENT IN BANGKOK: THE POLITICIANS BTS OR MRT: BTS OF COURSE, IT’S A LITTLE EDGIER DON’T MENTION: THE WAR! BEST HOLIDAY IN THAILAND: MY 50th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION IN CHIANG MAI DURING DRIVING RAINSTORM BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED: WHATEVER HAPPENS, KEEP EATING WHERE DO YOU HANG OUT: ANYWHERE WITH SHADOWY NOOKS AND DARK CRANNIES … AND A BAR FAVOURITE RESTAURANT: THE MAN AT THE END OF MY SOI MAKES THE BEST GRILLED CHICKEN AND SOMTAM IN BANGKOK FAVOURITE DISH: HANGLAY CURRY FROM THE NORTH MOST HATED DISH: DURIAN WHERE ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE: NOWHERE. VERY HAPPY HERE 8
UK link in crackdown on supercar tax evaders *As many as 10,000 supercars may have been imported illegally, says DSI * The BigChilli warned of trade back in April 2011
■ SOME 160 models of the world’s most expensive cars were seized in May from showrooms in Bangkok and provinces by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), working with the Customs Department, writes Maxmilian Wechsler. The vehicles were appropriated following suspicion that their declared value was falsely reported to avoid Thailand’s high import duties. The supercars include Lamborghini, Ferrari and Lotus. Most were imported from the United Kingdom because of the Brits, like Thais, drive on the left side of the road. The trade in luxury imported cars that are insufficiently taxed in Thailand is known as the ‘grey market’. Warnings about this illegal market were voiced by authorised dealers in an article in the April 2011 issue of The BigChilli. (see Editorial, page 6) The DSI raids were the culmination of a lengthy investigation that began when a trailer truck transporting six luxury cars caught fire on Mitraphab Road in Pak Chong
district of Nakhon Ratchasima province in May 2013. Four of the cars, a BMW, Lamborghini, Ferrari and Bentley, were completely destroyed in the fire. The driver of the truck said the cars were being delivered to an unknown recipient in Si Sa Ket province. The gutted cars were worth around 100 million baht. DSI investigators discovered that all six vehicles had been partially disassembled before export to Thailand to avoid the heavy taxes and then reassembled locally. In Thailand, supercars are classified as luxury,
reported abroad, especially in the UK. During a press conference after the 122 cars had been impounded, DSI Director-General Pol Col Paisit Wongmuang pledged that the DSI would continue to closely track imports and sales in the luxury car sector and press charges against those who break the law. He also said that the DSI’s investigation into the alleged tax evasion scheme indicated that up to 10,000 supercars may have been imported illegally, adding that all cases would be investigated to determine if
high-performance sports cars costing eight million baht or more. Soon after the well-publicized trailer-truck fire, Thai authorities seized 120 luxury cars throughout Thailand which was suspected to have been illegally imported. The raids in May this year were the result of the same ongoing investigation. The seizure of the cars from the showrooms was widely
the required taxes were paid. Noppadol Rattanasathien, a DSI specialist said that his organisation had already checked into the import of 7,123 cars and found that 3,773 were illegal. The Guardian recently reported that Thai investigators had uncovered an array of loopholes that dealers and corrupt customs officials exploit to “circumvent eye-watering taxes” >>
News Thailand places on supercars – usually amounting to around 328 percent of list price. The newspaper said that in the vast majority of cases the dealers under-declared the true value of the cars in order to save on duty fees, and added that some 30 car import businesses were being investigated. The DSI revealed it has been working closely with Britain’s National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service. According to the agency, as of June 22 this year, 38 supercars stolen in the UK had been exported to Thailand. The vehicles were identified by their engine and chassis numbers. Pol Col Paisit said that Thai authorities are also coordinating with automobile manufacturers abroad. Nine Customs Department officers, including two former deputies of the director-general of the department, were complicit in a scheme to import luxury cars under false pretences to avoid paying higher taxes, according to the Bangkok Post quoting the DSI. “The Office of the AuditorGeneral looks set to take legal action against nine custom officials who were [allegedly] involved in forging invoices so that the price of these products [luxury vehicles] could be falsely declared below their true price,” the Bangkok Post quoted DSI deputy chief Pol Lt-Col Korawat Panprapakon as saying. The Nation reported on June 13 that according to a source
108 Customs officials are under investigation in relation to the grey market car trade. The report said the anti-graft National Anti-Corruption Commission was waiting for more documents from British authorities. Tax scams involving luxury cars in Thailand take billions of baht out of the public coffer and only benefit criminals. Importers of supercars are allegedly backed by wealthy, influential people who feel little pressure to play by the rules.
The DSI has been living up to its pledge to crack down on this whitecollar crime and hopefully, it will continue in the effort to stop greedy people from cheating the country out of much-needed revenue.
Less muscle on display A recent visit to several dealers’ showrooms that normally have supercars on display in Bangkok – one of them is located close to the DSI headquarters – revealed that most dealers had replaced their ultra-expensive cars with much less prestigious brands. Some showrooms with a large floor space had only one or two less costly cars on display instead of the top-ofthe-line muscle cars they used to show. Owners who have shelled out a lot of money for a supercar are now worried that they could face problems if the car was stolen abroad or tax fraud was committed. The VIP car park on the ground floor of the Siam Paragon continues to be filled to capacity in the evenings, but according to one observer, there are a noticeably fewer Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Bentleys to be seen since the DSI raids.
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Art imitAtes life River City Bangkok invites all art lovers to the immersive ‘Life & Work Art Exhibition’ by Thai Realistic Art group
IVER City Bangkok proudly presents over 90 beautiful masterpieces from various leading Thai artists in the ‘Life & Work Art Exhibition by Thai Realistic Art’. All fans and art lovers alike are in for a treat. Those interested in modern, contemporary and realistic art will have a rare opportunity to appreciate art pieces from eight featuring artists from the Thai Realistic Art group including Kiattipon Isariyaporn, Veerapon Pasanphod, Aumnaj Tippayachan, Jinnah Komolwarachai, SomkertJiraptsitnon, Akarin Chatariyawit, Apichat Chompupach, and Adisorn Krongmul. The opening reception will be held on Friday, June 23, 2017, at 4 pm with one of Thailand’s most renowned artists, Nab Sotthibandu, presiding over the occasion. The ‘Life & Work Art Exhibition’ is available for viewing from June 23 to July 2, 2017, at RCB Galleria, 2nd Floor, River City Bangkok. Immerse yourself in the work of these exceptionally talented artists. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the charity. For more information, please contact 02 237 0077 ext 622/701 River City Bangkok 23 Charoen Krung Soi 24 Talad Noi Bangkok www.rivercitybangkok.com
Offering accommodation of the highest quality, maximum privacy and superior service, Sri panwa is an oasis of calm and luxury set in one of the finest locations on Phuket
Hotel of the month intimate Thai dining experience with stunning sunset views, while Baba Poolclub, the resort’s second restaurant and entertainment outlet, features an extensive menu selection offering a wide range of Japanese, Italian, BBQ, Thai and Hotpot cuisine. The most recent addition is Baba Nest, located high in the sky with views to boot; it’s the ultimate space for sunset cocktails.
■ PERCHED high atop Cape Panwa across 40 acres of lush, tropical surroundings, Sri panwa commands the southeastern tip of Phuket in its entirety. The resort’s 52 villas sit 40-60 m above sea level along the eastern and western ridges at the very tip of the cape, commanding breathtaking views of the surrounding islands and Andaman Sea. Each villa offers panoramic ocean views, while some boast full and uninterrupted 300° ocean views. The private pool villas range from one to five bedrooms. Each feature a 12-metre infinity-edge swimming pool wrapped around glass-enclosed bedrooms, sun bathing terraces, a private sala, and outdoor bathing areas. For meal times, Sri panwa’s restaurant concept, Baba, has three locations. Baba Soul Food offers an
Sri panwa also offers the tranquil Cool Spa retreat for indulgent pampering. Offering holistic varieties from the traditional Thai massages to facials, manicure and pedicures to invigorating body wraps. The spa menu includes romantic pampering for couples and relaxing in-villa treatments upon request. Guest’s recreational facilities include the gym, tennis courts, the
Beach Pool and steam rooms. Only a short walk from the Beach Pool, you’ll find a secluded beach featuring a selection of water sports, year round yachting activities, sun loungers and a pier to dive off or even soak up some sun on. Excursions are tailored according to guest’s wishes – they include private yachting, speedboat excursions to the outlying islands, Phuket town, fishing, and plenty more Sri panwa has already been voted as one of the top five resorts in Thailand and acclaimed as one of the most seductive hotels in the world. Due to its ever-increasing popularity expansions are already underway, with the new Baba Beach Club located on Narai Beach set to open later this year. 88 Moo 8 Sakdidej Road, Tambon Vichit, Phuket. 076 371 000. sripanwa.com
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Chang Chui Because nothing is useless FINALLY, the long-awaited brainchild project of Somchai Songwattana, CEO and art director of Flynow is opened to the public. Chang Chui, or ‘sloppy artisan’ in Thai, has been the most talked-about topic since the beginning of this year.
This 11-rai of new creative space is located on Sirindhorn Road, Thonburi District. Chang Chui was born from the aspiration to create the space where the new and the old generations can get together and exchange their knowledge and insights. It is also to support the young and budding artists to have an outlet to showcase their work without having to spend a lot of money or resources. Chang Chui is full of all things reused creatively put together again for a new purpose. The buildings are made of recycled items such as old windows, disused posts, cabinets,
By Morgan Thanarojpradit
and more. Visitors are greeted by the disused plane that is being fashioned into a restaurant and bar that will feature a large collection of stuffed animals under the Noah’s Ark theme. The restaurant and bar will be ready to take customers in August this year. More than just put together by recycled items, every building everywhere has a creative purpose. It has a large cafeteria building where various famous Thai street food stalls are selling food inside. Outside offers a variety of restaurants, bars, barber shops, fashion shops, beverage stalls, creative shops, a theatre, art space, conference rooms, a co-creative space, the very first drone school, and an old-school mom-and-pop shop. One thing that might be certain is that Chang Chui is not built to be completed. There’re always room for improvement. It was meant to be a never-ending story. Couldn’t help but wonder how it will change next time we visit.
How to get there Since parking is scarce due to the location and a large number of people visiting, it is best to take the BTS to Bang Wah terminal station and take a taxi to Chang Chui. Chang Chui. 460/8 Sirinthorn Road. 081 817 2888. www.changchuibangkok.com
THE HOT LIST
20 great things to see and do in Bangkok & beyond...
01 G-Dragon 2017 World Tour Act III
July 7, 8 Impact Arena SHAKING up all Thai K-pop fans this July is the return of the G-DRAGON. This is a part of the G-DRAGON 2017 World Tour <ACT III, M.O.T.T.E> live in Bangkok. So for two shows only G-DRAGON will perform on July 7-8, 2017 at Impact Arena, Muang Tong Tani. Tickets are available now. www.thaiticketmajor.com
02 Alison Wonderland
July 10 Road to Wateronic ALISON Wonderland is coming to Bangkok. This Sydney-based DJ and producer-signed to EMI Music Australia is going to shake things up on July 10. www.alisonwonderland.com.au
03 ‘Life in Color’ party at Levels
July 12 Levels IN celebration of its 5th Anniversary together with the new concept ‘Life in Colour’. The event will unveil an exciting night of celebrations to show gratitude to those contributed to making Levels and Bangkok nightlife one of the most colourful in the world. Line up include international DJs. www.levelsclub.com
04 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek
July 19 - 23 East coast of Phuket NOW in its 14th year, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek is one of the region’s top regattas and will be hosted at Cape & Kantary Hotels’ Phuket properties – Cape
Panwa Hotel and Kantary Bay Hotel – from 19th – 23rd July. Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek 2017 is now open and participants wanting to book accommodation at either Cape Panwa Hotel or Kantary Bay Hotel www.phuketraceweek.com
July 23 Brownstone Studios Brownstone Studios A popular American indie rock band is coming to Bangkok. The band has released two albums, two EPs and a handful of singles. They have toured extensively both in American and internationally and they are bringing their best game to Bangkok, Thailand. One night only at Brownstone Studios. www.ticketbox.co.th
06 Florian Picasso
July 28 Onyx THE great-grandson of the famous artist, Pablo Picasso, has made a name for himself as a DJ and record producer based in Cannes. Meet Florian Picasso at Onyx on July 28. www.ﬂorianpicasso.com
07 Thailand Cycling Tour Challenge – Ratchaburi July 30 Chombueng Rajabhat University ORGANISED by Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thailand Cycling Tour Challenge at Ratchaburi offers challenging course through attractive locations. Tickets start from B900. Thailand Cycling Tour Challenge gives a new cycling experience on a challenging course through attractive locations in Thailand. The first stage will take place in Chomg Bueng-Suang Phueng, Ratchaburi. This high
quality event for professional riders and passionate riders alike. www.gotorace.com
08 LANY live in Bangkok by VIJI CORP August 2 DND CLUB WITH a recently sold out headline at Heaven in London – Lany were blown away by the army of fans they have grown since coming together in 2014. They recently completed an impressive sold out run of UK and European dates and are about to embark on a 36 date US headline tour ending in two nights in Los Angeles where Lany was born. This LA-based trio of Paul, Les, and Jack is performing for the first time in Bangkok. www.thaiticketmajor.com
09 Satun Southern Bike 2017
August 6 Amphoe Manang Saturn ALL cycling enthusiasts get ready for the Satun Southern Bike 2017 – a 70km mountain and road biking race in Amphue Manga Saturn. Tickets priced at B400 for all type races inclusive of a t-shirt and B700 for all type races inclusive of a bike shirt. www.gotorace.com
10 Ariana Grande Dangerous Woman Tour
August 17 Impact Arena THE multi-platinum selling and Grammy award-nominated artist announces her first-ever concert in Thailand in The Dangerous Woman live in Bangkok in August 2017 at Impact Arena, Muang Tong Tani. Ariana Grande launched onto the international music scene with her
smash-hit debut album “Yours Truly” in 2013 that hit the No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200. She became the youngest woman to debut with over 400,000 tracks sold in its first week while the song ranked ast the 5th highest digital song debut for female artist and 9th highest ever. www.thaiticketmajor.com
August 17 Moonstar Studio MAKING a debut of their new album ‘TI Amo’ for the first time in Bangkok, the Grammy Award-winning band, Phoenix, is coming to the Moon Star Studio. Tickets are available at B3,000. www.ticketmelon.com
12 Slot Machine
August 26 Impact Arena STARTED off as a group of high school boys competing in national music contests, since then they have gone through stylistic changes and transitioned into the digital music age. The one thing that remained consistent is their devotion to music. All Slot Machine fans get ready to take a journey with a largescale concert in ‘Chang Music Connection presents Slot Machine – The Mothership Live at Impact Arena. Tickets are available now. www.thaiticketmajor.com
13 River Kwai International Half Marathon 2017
16 One Republic
September 10 River Kwai Village Hotel THE legend run since 1982 is back again this year. The tickets are on sale for B600for Mini Marathon 10km, B800 for Half Marathon 21km, and B800 for Ultra Half Marathon 36km.
September 21 Impact Arena THIS year’s concert scene just keeps getting hotter, with Live Nation BEC-Tero bringing top pop/rock band, OneRepublic to perform in Bangkok. OneRepublic is comprised of bassist Brent Kutzle, guitarists Zach Filkins and Drew Brown, drummer Eddie Fisher.
14 BIKE ZONE Tri Dash Bangkok
17 Bangkok Airways Boutique Chiang Rai Marathon 2017
September 10 Samutprakan, Bangpoo Golf and Country Club BIKE Zone Tri Dash is brining triathlon in the city. Check out the course details and join the competition today. www.tridashthailand.com
15 The Chainsmokers
September 15 Impact Challenger 1 THIS American duo, The Chainsmokers, are coming to Thailand for one show only. Heineken presents The Chainsmokers Memories Do Not Open Asia Tour 2017 at Impact Challenger 1, Impact Arena, Muang Tong Tani. Consists of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, the pair proved themselves to be the breakout story of 2016 with over 5 billion global streams and three multi-platinum singles like ‘Closer’, ‘Don’t let me down’, and ‘Roses.’ Also joining them is the special guest, Nick Martin. www.thaiticketmajor.com
September 24 Chiang Rai ENJOY the route of the first ever marathon race event in Chiang Rai. The roads will be closed to make sure the participants are safe throughout the race. www.teelakow.com
18 Thanyapura Tri Dash Phuket
October 21 Thanyapura, Phuket TRI Dash Triathlon returns to Phuket in 2017. Hosted by Thanyapura and owned and organised by Go Adventure Asia, the Tri Dash is a sprint triathlon suitable for both beginners and seasoned athletes. The run course is also multi looped and entirely within the Thanyaura complex. Tickets are available for both individual and team relay.
19 Ed Sheeran Live in Bangkok 2017
16 November Impact Arena ED Sheeran’s first Thai concert is one of the most anticipated concert his fans are waiting for. He will be performing one show only at Impact Arena, Muang Tong Tani. This genre-defying third studio album ÷ (divide) was released on March 3 and is still riding high on the charts across the globe. Kickingoff his musical comeback in recent years with his dual singles ‘Shape of you’ and ‘Castle on the hill’ that have taken the world be storm. This concert is sure to be a phenomenon. www.thaiticket.com
20 Shawn Mendes Illuminate World Tour 2017 December 11 Impact Arena PERFORMING in Bangkok, Thailand, this 18-yearold multi-platinum singer songwriter and global sensation Shawn Mendes will bring his acclaimed Illuminate World Tour to Asia. He has reached a new level on his second album showing off his much improved and matured song writing, guitar, and vocal skills. www.thaiticketmajor.com
For more hot events, and to submit your own, go to thebigchilli.com
By Drew McCreadie
■ LIVE comedy and the rain are the direct nemeses of each other, like a superhero and super-villain born to battle each other until the soggy yet hilarious end of time. Live comedy, wrapped in the red cape of stage curtains, brings joy and happiness to the world, whereas rain, clad in a cheap one-use-only disposable rain poncho from 7-11, brings nothing but depression and despair (and water for crops so there is food to eat, I will
This month at the Comedy Club Bangkok T.J. MILLER Live in Bangkok! The Comedy Club Bangkok with Full Metal Dojo is proud to present T.J. Miller – fresh from his recent HBO special ‘Meticulously Ridiculous’ and as seen on Deadpool, Silicon Valley, Office Christmas Party, Every American Chat Show, Yogi Bear 3D and more! Sunday, July 2 at 7.30pm & 9.30pm. B1,200 in advance. B1,600 at the door. Include a drink and drink specials. Friday, Friday Comedy nights! See more international special guests joining newcomers and Bangkok’s ever more seasoned comics for a great night’s laughs. Fridays at 8.30pm. B250 in advance. B350 at the door. Include a drink and drink specials. The Comedy Club Bangkok Sukhumvit 33/1 (above Royal Oak Pub) Comedyclubbangkok.com
How comedy can help defeat the rain give it that). But other than the lifegiving nature of rain, there is nothing good about it! As someone who rides a motorbike around Bangkok, I admit that I hate the rain and those cheap one-useonly disposable rain ponchos. The next downpour seems inevitably connected directly to the ignition of my motorbike. And it seems like the rainy season has come a bit early this year. So my hatred is due to arrive with torrential force soon too. And so, it is vital that I take steps to counter the negativity, anger, aggression, and general whining that accompanies the arrival of this oh-too-long season. Scientific studies have proven that inclement weather can have a direct influence on one’s mood, so it’s not just me saying this. Science is saying it too, and science knows its stuff. Serotonin is released into the blood stream whenever we are happy, like when the sun is shining or when we are enjoying live comedy, but that same serotonin is ejected from the body in streams of blinding laser beams of fiery hate whenever the skies cloud over. Serotonin is pure happiness. To be depleted of serotonin causes depression and sadness. The lack of vitamin D (the ‘D’ stands for “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”) that comes from long periods of rain also depresses the immune system, making us all vulnerable to other
people’s annoying behaviour and irritating stupidity. There are two ways to deal with this situation. The first is to create sunlight; prayers and virgin offerings have proven ineffective, or at least unreliable, making this a difficult approach. The second option is to deliberately put yourself in the way of comedy. Live comedy in particular, with the group dynamic of sharing a laugh with others, has also been proven by science to have enormous benefits to the human body. Of course, when the weather is bad, and one is feeling lethargic, there is a tendency to batten down the hatches, stay inside and try to ride out the season, thereby avoiding contact with other people in social settings. This is the exact opposite of what one should be doing. To counter the mood altering effects of bad weather, take deliberate steps to stay active (or increase activity), engage in more social outings (get out of the house), and find activities that give you joy, happiness, and most important of all laughs (go see some live comedy). The English language comedy scene in Bangkok is growing, with several shows being offered each week throughout the city. Make sure to take advantage, and keep yourself happy during this miserable, terrible, soul-destroying, awful, soggy, useless, rotten, good-for-nothing (other than life-giving) season.
Market Exposure Make time to visit Bangkok’s least known floating market in the city’s ‘Green Lung’
UCKED deep inside the grand loop of greenness on the western side of the Chao Phraya River known as the ‘Green Lung of Bangkok’ is the village of Bang Nampheung in Prapadaeng. It’s home to one of the city’s most authentic yet least known – at least to the city’s foreign community – floating markets.
Handmade hats weaved from pandan leaves
By Charlie Myers
tâ€™s not an easy place to find, which probably explains why the market is not on many touristsâ€™ radar. Once discovered, Bang Nampheung offers hours of fun browsing and haggling with hundreds of simple vendors selling an amazing array of local products and foodstuffs rarely seen elsewhere in Bangkok. Unlike other floating markets, Bang Nampheung is a relative newcomer, having been set up in 2004 to help locals sell their agricultural products. Only people living in the immediate community are permitted to ply their wares in the market, and there are limits on the number of vendors and what they sell.
Nonetheless, it has grown considerably over the years, expanding well beyond its original location beside a small canal, and now does a thriving business with other locals and visitors from Bangkok.
Bang Nampheung offers hours of fun browsing and haggling with hundreds of simple vendors selling an amazing array of local products and foodstuffs rarely seen elsewhere in Bangkok.
roducts include fruits, fresh and cooked foodstuffs, local interpretations of popular foreign dishes and all kinds of Thai desserts as well as toys, live fish and insects, souvenirs, clothing and hats. Several vendors display their preparation skills and there are friendly goats waiting to be fed by excited youngsters.
The market is well covered from the sun by mature trees and tented archways, and there are lots of seats and picnic areas set in pleasant gardens. And no shortage of restaurants! To get there by car, head over the majestic Bhumibol Bridge on Rama 111 and then take the exit to Suksawat Road. Follow the signs to Bang Nampheung Floating Market a few kilometres southwards. Although there’s plenty of parking, best to get there early as it quickly fills up.
Follow the signs to Bang Nampheung Floating Market a few kilometres southwards
It’s a great day out from Bangkok and a welcome alternative to the city’s other major markets. Lacking their increasing commercialisation, it is a visual treat and offers a chance to stock up on unusual gifts and souvenirs. Best of all, though, is its authenticity, at least for now.
Travelbook Family Trip:
UMMER is here and we, the Travelbook Family, just love to spend as much time as we can by the beach, away from the big cities. We normally travel to Phuket, Krabi, or Phi Phi Islands but this time we discovered Khao Lak in Phang Nga province. We were invited to visit Bhandari Resort & Spa, The Haven Khao Lak, and Home & Life Foundation. Khao Lak, Bhandari Resort & Spa was all but destroyed by the 2004 tsunami but one Banyan tree was left standing through the disaster. It now serves as a kind of memorial at the resort. There is also a Tsunami Memorial site a few minutes’ drive from the hotel. We went to pay our respect to the victims and have a moment of silence for them. Nong Thong beach is only a short walk from Bhandari Resort and Maya had a great time swimming in the mornings. We made sure to pack special water shoes for her to protect her feet from the rocks and longsleeved swimwear to shield her from the sun. Great family activities include the Thai cooking class where we learned to make Tom Kha Goong, Phad Thai, and Chicken Cashew Nut dishes and Maya enjoyed her own toy cooking set and was busy making her own
Khao Lak make-believe dishes. The Haven Khao Lak boasts the longest salt water swimming pool in Thailand – 5,000 sq m that extends the length of the resort itself. Dean and I managed to have a few baby-free hours to spend some quality time there and at the spa. We spontaneously decided to do the ‘love ceremony’ (a mini wedding ceremony) where the resort organised a beautiful sunset wedding for us with flowers, cake, and saxophonist to set the mood. Before leaving Khao Lak, we made a stop at Home & Life Foundation – a home for underprivileged children who lost their parents in the tsunami. We’ve visited this orphanage a few times over the years helping out with different things – painting the walls, bringing supplies of toys and food, joining the Songkran celebration, and this time we sponsored to build monkey bars for the children to play on. It was great to see familiar faces who have grown up since the last time we visited. They loved showing Maya around. They also have a coffee shop on site where you can purchase their home-baked pastries, coffee, and handicrafts made by the children from the orphanage – all proceeds will go to sustain the orphanage.
Natalie Glebova – a mother, an entrepreneur, and an activist among other things, along with her husband, Dean Kelly Jr, are behind the travel-sharing online business/ start-up called Travelbook. With their daughter, Maya Kelly Glebova, who was born in Thailand, they are on a mission to help families travel better and safer and inspire people to see more of the world we live in. facebook.com/MissUniverse2005, youtube.com/c/TravelbookFamily
Going to extremes at the Bridge over the River Kwai By Joseph Henry
Snaking through the largest race in Southeast Asia, we finally won first prizes
ESPITE its awful past, the infamous River Kwai’s ‘death’ railway built by WWII prisoners is an ideal location for the River Kwai Trophy Adventure Race, the largest race in Southeast Asia. I was not always into endurance sports. I think it came to me as a midlife crisis thing. I enjoyed Bangkok’s party scene for years, becoming overweight and unhealthy in the process. I read about this River Kwai Race where people swam, biked and
ran the trails. I’d already done plenty of these activities in Canada; in fact, my fondest memories growing up in a small town derived from being a free range kid cycling on 10-speed bikes on dirt trails. Longing to recapture my youthful spirit, I decided to get fit and entered the race for the first time. That was 11 years ago. It was the toughest thing I’d ever done, but I was hooked. I was never the best at track and field, I’m not even a great runner. So it never occurred to me that I might be doing
ultra-endurance extreme sports. But since then I’ve done marathons, ultratrail runs, cycling races, Ironman triathlons and adventure races. In 2015, my buddy Ross Cain and I decided to team up under the name “Atlast” with the purpose of winning the Grand Masters of the River Kwai Race. He was super-fit, coming off cycling the 1200 km Audax France in under 70 hours. We trained hard in the midday sun for five hours at a time, so by race day we were in top shape. Despite a serious cycling crash in which
Ross cracked his elbow and I had a concussion, we came in 3rd place.
n 2016, we tried again. We led the race for five hours until my legs cramped in the final river swim just a few hundred meters from the finish line. It hurt to lose like that, and I felt I’d let my teammate down. I knew I had to come back better and stronger for 2017. At the registration for the 2017 edition we saw teams entering from Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia and France. We resolved that no one was going to beat us on our home course. That night, a huge tropical storm rolled in. It was the first time in my experience that it rained prior to a race, and the trails would be very muddy! In an adventure race, you don’t know distances, routes or order of the swim, bike, kayak, obstacles or trails. You just deal with it as it comes. In this year’s race,
we started with a run that crossed the Bridge over the River Kwai to the main plaza where tourists looked on. After 8 km we climbed down a rope-net on a steep drop into the river. I was stunned as I tried to swim against the river current which pulled us backwards. We crawled, heaved and swam our way to the next shoreline with dozens of athletes bunched together, kicking, punching trying to swim through weeds, branches and submerged rocks. It was a relief to get back on dry land to prepare for the next water section – a kayak ride. Ross and I are excellent kayakers in the respect that we usually finish among the fastest. We headed out to the river expecting an advantage, but something was wrong with our kayak. While we had some success passing others,
our kayak was getting harder to paddle, before filling with water shortly before we sank in the middle of the river! We were eventually rescued by the jetski patrol and pulled to land on the shore area. We had lost 10 minutes from this incident, but at least we were able to push on. Then we started a long mountain bike ride through the muddy farmlands up to the foothills of the mountains that mark the border between Thailand and Myanmar. We started to catch up to some very good teams which made
us realise we were making good time. After dropping our bikes at transition, we ran toward the boulder-filled mountainside. Frustratingly, I started getting cramps in my legs. I quickly took salt capsules, water and electrolyte powders. In my training, I had done lots of hills runs with the Bangkok Runners and every Tuesday I ran up 170 ﬂights of stairs. I was ready for this moment and just easily ignored the cramps. Once we made it past the mountain, Ross was starting to slow. He’d injured his hip in a freak cycling accident a few months earlier and barely had time to properly recover for the training. Once we returned to our bikes I said to Ross, “let’s win this!” We were ﬂying on the bikes. Then we hit ‘the great mud wall’, a 1 km-deep muddy road (a quagmire). Everyone was struggling as their bikes’ forks, brakes, chains and derailleurs caked in mud. You had to carry your bike which felt like it weighed a ton by this time, or stop to clear mud by hand every hundred meters. Reaching the edge of the muddy road, I got a ﬂat tire. We feared all hopes might be lost again but we pushed on nonetheless. Ready to roll onto the final section, we started riding like hell. Passing teams after teams, we ended up in a pitched battle with two other extreme teams and passed them just a hundred meters before the finish line. We had learned our lesson well from last year. When Sophie the MC announced, “Team Atlast has finished in 1st place in the Grand Masters Division”, hands rose in the air and we both shouted at the top of our lungs! It has been 11 years in the making and finally my first ever win. We had conquered Asia’s Largest Race at the Bridge over the River Kwai, and we can’t wait to do it all over again!
Thailand’s 11Th Princess cuP archery TournamenT 2017 Established a decade ago by a group of archery enthusiasts, Thailand Outdoor Archery Club now spearheads one of the most successful international archery competitions in Thailand
THAILAND Princess Club Archery Tournament – a collaboration with the Paralympic Committee of Thailand and Thailand Outdoor Archery Club (TOAC) – is an annual indoor short-range (18m) archery competition held in June of every year at Fashion Island Department Store. With a humble beginning, today it is one of the most anticipated competition in Thailand. Over the years, more countries have participated and this year saw over 500 athletes, coaches and spectators attending the competition. Established and organised by TOAC, the event is a collaborative effort with the Paralympic Committee of Thailand to represent Thailand in the global stage. The cumulative effort resulted in great track record with 11 years in the making and many more to look forward to. Thailand Outdoor Archery Club or TOAC began from a handful of local Robin Hoods when the sport was unheard of amongst the general public. Most people has only seen bows and arrows in the movies, let alone have an opportunity of experience the real thing. Today the sport has become well-known and many extraordinary Thai athletes has proved themselves in many world-class competitions. For more information, visit thailandoutdoor.com/TOAC/ ArcheryClub.html, archerythai.com
SOME FUN IN THE SUN AT PHUKET RACEWEEK 2017 CAPE Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek has seen a growing number of charterers and sailors from Australia taking part each year and this is, in large part, due to the excellent regatta experience and to the fact that Phuket Raceweek offers a warm weather alternative to the cold of Australia in July “THE weather in Perth has just turned bloody cold, so we are all looking to get over here to enjoy ourselves and thaw out for a few days,” said Con Macarlino, who has competed at Phuket Raceweek before. Hailing from Sydney’s Balmain Sailing Club are Lyn Evans, Wanda Carter, Karen Abel and Celine Rousseau – the Balmain girls – and they are joining a group of Phuket ladies to race on the Farr 1104 Farrgo Express. Lyn has been sailing since she was six years old, Wanda is a self-confessed “boat tart”, Karen a Carpenter, and Celine a winemaker, together they have sailed at regattas all over Australia including Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, and it was at the 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week that they decided to give Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek a go. “The Balmain girls had been recommended to Phuket Raceweek by club members who had taken part and had a great time in the event prior. They got in touch with me and after a few emails, I put them together with a group of experienced Phuket-based female sailors,” said Stuart Compton of Phuket charter company Sailescapes, who firmed up the charter. “Together they will be competing as an all-female team on the well-presented Farr 1104 Farrgo Express which has
podiumed at every Raceweek it has competed in so far, so there’s plenty of pressure on the ladies to deliver the goods!” With strong support from the Phuket and Thailand sailing community, participants are coming from all over Asia and as far afield as Russia and the UK to compete in what has become a “must do” destination regatta, and the opening event of the 2017/18 AsianYachting Grand Prix Championship. “The response from Australian sailors who have competed at Phuket Raceweek has always been positive. Happy sailors are going back home and telling their friends and we can see how the regatta’s awareness in Australia is growing. In addition to Con and the all-female team, we have two more Australian-chartered boats confirmed this year, as well as many individuals from Australia and around the world flying in to compete,” said Byron Jones, Managing Director of organisers Media Business Services Co. Ltd. Organised by Media Business Services, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek 2017 will take place from 19–23 July, 2017, headquartered at Cape Panwa Hotel. www.phuketraceweek.com
NARROW WINNING MARGINS AT 2017 SAMUI REGATTA Referred to as the “Tropical Island Regatta”, Samui Regatta attracts sailors from Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia every year, as well as many from around Thailand THE standard of this year’s fleet was one of the highest yet and this was no clearer than when two yachts tied for first place on corrected time. If that wasn’t enough, it happened to two yachts in IRC Zero class and two in IRC One class, and it was in the same race – the penultimate race of their respective series. Five days of high octane sailing and six nights of beach parties culminated in the last night Gala Dinner – a fitting finale to an excellent regatta and also the final event of the Asian Yachting Grand Prix season of 12 events covering Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines. In IRC Zero, it was the Thailand-based TP52 ‘THA72’ of Kevin and Tom Whitcraft who defended their title in style with eight wins, one first place tie and a third over the series. Second place went to the Kerr 46 ‘Zannekin’ from Hong Kong and third to fellow Hong Kong entry, the TP52 ‘Freefire’. In the IRC One class, six of the seven entries made it onto the podium during the week and five claimed at least one race win. It was the consistency of the Singapore-based ‘Loco’ that saw David Dimmock and his crew secure the win at their second time of trying. Despite starting the series with two wins, ‘Fujin’ added three six places and a seventh to their 10-race tally – it was too much for them to come back from and they had to settle for third overall, leap-frogged by the well-campaigned
Hong Kong boat, ‘Mandrake III’, whose second in the last race secured them second overall. In the Cruising class, the Naut 40 ‘Lady Bubbly’ won comfortably, while in the Multihull class it was the Corsair Pulse 600 ‘Multihull Solutions H3O’, skippered by Thai sailor Nut Thongtoam, who sailed best to claim the victory. After a hiatus of a few years, the return of a multihull class was welcomed and organisers are looking to build on this for future years. The Samui Regatta is where the Asian Yachting Grand Prix Skipper and Yacht of the Year is awarded, and for the 2016/17 season the winners were Anthony Root/ Steve Manning, and their custom Ker 42, Black Baza. The dates for the 2018 event have already set: 26 May to 2 June at Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, Chaweng Beach. www.samuiregatta.com
RCA revisited By day and by night the Royal City Avenue is worlds apart
OCATED between Petchburi and Rama IX Road, Royal City Avenue, known commonly as RCA, is one of three government designated nightlife zones in Bangkok. Ask any expat or local Thai alike above the age of 21 and guaranteed they will have memories, or a lack thereof, from nights spent at one of RCA’s many clubs and bars. During the day, however, RCA is a far cry from the buzzing parties and festivities of the night. Take a trip to the famed strip before nightfall and you’ll find it teeming with office workers and locals to the area. Lined with a variety of shops, offices, restaurants, and beauty clinics, RCA is much more than just a party zone. Name it and you’ll find it somewhere along RCA.
RCA by day From morning to early evening, RCA is abuzz with office workers and locals grabbing a quick bite to eat from one of the many cafes and restaurants. Hipster coffee shops; Korean and Japanese cuisine; plus plenty of traditional Thai, Isaan, boat noodle and khao rad gaeng stores line both sides of the strip. There are a number of daytime activities available including a driving range that is easily accessible from Petchburi Road, as well as an arcade, bowling alley, go-karting track, and movie theatre in RCA Plaza. Also located in RCA Plaza is the Aerial Factory Bangkok, a
professional circus school specialising in aerial art classes, pole dancing, gymnastics and yoga. Or for more intensive physical activities, the Pinto Fight Studio is located towards the Rama IX exit and offers classes in Muay Thai and boxing. Cardio, body weight and circuit training are also incorporated into each class. Numerous offices are located in RCA as well as several productspecific stores including a Vesper showroom; DJ and music equipment, model-making supply and fishing equipment stores; and even a balloondedicated store. Beauty clinics, dentists and hair and nail salons can be found dotted along the strip too.
RCA by night The nightlife scene at RCA is not quite Thonglor but not Khao San Road either, in fact, it’s the perfect balance between the two. For expats and tourists, it presents a picture of Thai nightlife without the backpackers and hawkers found in Khao San or Soi 11 or the extortionate prices of Thonglor or other nightlife areas in Bangkok. Towards the Rama IX exit, you’ll find famed nightclubs such as Route 66 and Onyx, both of which host regular festivals and international acts such as Steve Aoki. While Onyx brings in a slightly upmarket Thai crowd, Route 66 is regularly packed with both locals and foreigners alike. Opened in 1996, Route 66 is by far the most popular club on the strip. Despite the sheer size of the club – divided into north, south, east and west quadrants – the dancefloors are regularly packed shoulder-to-shoulder. The music selection is typically EDM, pop and hip hop, but hidden in the girls’ bathroom is a live band performing
both English and Thai covers. Like the club itself, the girl’s bathroom is extensive and features several sections, including a seating area to enjoy the band’s performance. The double-toilet corner cubicle is also a treat for girls who insist on going with their friends – six girls could in fact easily fit in this one cubicle. Long pants and closed shoes are a
must for the gents heading to any of the clubs in RCA. As for the girls, cool and casual is the go-to dress attire. For those who don’t enjoy clubbing, RCA has many Thai-style bars and restaurants offering cheap food and drinks as well as live band performances. Taksura, Pojangmacha, A Million Ways to Drink, and The Rehab Gallery of Music are but a few of the smaller bars along RCA. Wherever you decide to go, an enjoyable night out with friends is always a guarantee.
Food& Drink Bangkok’s hottest dining deals and news
The Dark Delight THROUGH AUGUST 31 AT LUCE EMBRACE the dark side of creative cuisine of decadent Dark Delights Promotion at LUCE Italian restaurant, Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok. Enjoy the desirable dishes with the black-themed twist paired with special drinks such as pan-seared US scallops with a classic charcoal Martini and black Kalamata olives and more. Drinks are priced at B220 each. 02 210 8100. eastingrandsathorn.com
Indian Sunday Brunch AVAILABLE NOW AT RANG MAHAL EXPERIENCE the true Indian flavour at Rang Mahal, Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok. Variety of authentic Indian kebabs, traditional curries and delicious Indian dessert are available every Sunday from 11am to 12pm, priced at B990 per person.
Surf & Turf Tower on Top AVAILABLE NOW AT RED SKY THE Surf & Turf Tower, an assortment of the freshest seafood and prime quality meat include Ribeye Wagyu, Australian lamb rack, grilled Maine lobster, giant Andaman shrimp, Alaskan crab and Hokkaido scallops at Red Sky, 55th floor of Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld. Available daily from 6pm to 1am, priced at B5,955 ++ per couple. 02 100 6255. chr.co.th
02 617 7100. rembrandtbkk.com
Fantastic Spanish Business Lunch AVAILABLE NOW AT UNO MAS IDEAL afternoon business lunch with stunning view is now available at Uno Mas restaurant, Centara Grand at CentralWorld. Aveilable every Monday to Friday during 11.30am to 2.30pm, the amazing two-course meals are priced at B799 ++ while three course meals are priced at B999++ per person. 02 100 6255. unomasbangkok.com
Fisherman’s Catch Sunday Brunch Say Yes to Free Flow of Sparkling Wines AVAILABLE NOW AT AMBAR BASKING in the sunset at the amBar, rooftop bar at Fourpoints by Sheraton Bangkok on Sukhumvit 15 and indulge yourself with a 2-hour free-flow sparkling wine priced at only B999 per person. 02 309 3124. ambarbangkok.com
THROUGH JULY 30 AT PRIME SEAFOOD lovers can spend their Sunday extra special at Prime, Compass SkyView Hotel, with their new ‘Fisherman’s Catch Sunday Brunch’. Featuring a hearty haul of ocean-fresh favourites, this brunch comes in a new promotion of ‘Come 2 Pay 1’ offer, available every Sunday from 11.45pm to 3pm priced at B2,200 per person. 02 011 1111. compassskyviewhotel.com
Savour Mangosteen moments THROUGH SEPTEMBER AT ZEST BAR & TERRACE HEALTHY and delicate, mangosteen is often called queen of fruits. Through September, creative eight course meals with a mangosteen theme are going to be served at High Tea, Zest Bar & Terrace. Priced B810 per set for two persons, the menu is available daily from 12pm to 6pm. 02 207 8000. westingrandsukhumvit.com
Cheesy Mac Attack Burger THROUGH AUGUST 25 AT 25 DEGREES TRENDY hybrid burger, ‘Cheesy Mac Attack Burger’ with the bun made of Mac n’ Cheese and nice sirloin patty topped with marvelous ingredients is available at 25 Degrees Burger, Wine & Liquor Bar, Pullman Hotel. Priced at B350 ++, available until August 25. 02 267 5272. facebook.com/25DegreesBangkok
Ultimate Crab Festival
Feel Tokyo with Matcha Cream Toast AVAILABLE NOW AT CAFÉ KANTARY AFTERNOON tea and toast has never been this good. Crunchy toast lathered in cream and green tea sauce, ‘Tokyo Matcha Cream Toast’ is served at B180 per serving at all Café Kantary locations across Thailand.
THROUGH AUGUST 31 AT 25 FLAVORS NAME any crab you can think of, and it is all deliciously ready at Flavors, Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel. Find an impressive array of fresh crab selection includes Atlantic brown crabs, Alaskan snow crabs, Giant Mud crabs, and Blue swimmer crabs, priced at B2,100++ per person. 02 125 5049. renaissancehotels.com
02 253 3791. cafekantary.com
Everyday Drink day THROUGH JULY 31 AT THE TWIST BAR & BISTRO SPECIAL drink promotions at The Twist Bar & Bistro, Well Hotel Bangkok. Check out the promotion including the daily ‘Mojito Fiesta’ of B199 per glass, available from noon to 11pm. 02 127 5995. wellhotelbangkok.com
It’s Asado time! AVAILABLE NOW AT WINE PUB CUISINE Unplugged, Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel has collected the freshest and finest imported crabs from across the globe specially selected for their tender flesh and sweet taste complemented by the most succulent premium rib eye beef sourced directly from the USA and Australia. Priced B1,500 per person every Monday to Thursday and B1,700 per person every Friday to Sunday from 6 to 10.30pm. 02 680 9999. pullmanhotel.com
Fancy Seafood AVAILABLE NOW AT FLOW FLOW, Millennium Hilton Bangkok hotel will make your day extra fancy with the new ‘Seafood Buffet Friday’. Priced at B990++ per person inclusive of free flow wine. Children age 6 to 11 get 50% discount. 02 442 2000. 3.hilton.com
Real Taste of Tasmania
Rib Sticking Pacific Rim Feast AVAILABLE NOW AT ANANTARA HOTEL TRADER Vic’s, a global and local dining institution, at Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort is introducing a new flavourful concept, combining Polynesian-inspired tastes and a tropical setting on the Chao Phraya. The new special is available every Friday from 6 – 10.30 pm priced at B1,800++ for two people. 02 476 0022. anantara.com
AVAILABLE NOW AT THE DISTRICT THE District Grill Room & Bar offers the real taste of Tasmania. Enjoy an array of á la carte menu include fresh from the edge of the world include the Cape Grim grass-fed Tomahawk, Cape Grim ox braised brisket seared Tasmanian lamb tenderloin and cured Tasmanian salmon. 02 797 0000. bangkokmarriott.com
Truly Traditional Italian Cuisine
O.M.G. Sunday Brunch
THROUGH JULY 31 AT DA VINCI DA VINCI, the family-friendly Italian restaurant at the Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok is showcasing a truly traditional Italian dinner with five mouth-watering dishes created by Executive Chef Bertini Vittorio. Prices start from B220++ per person.
AVAILABLE NOW AT DEE LITES DEE Lite’s new ‘OMG Sunday Brunch’ with the city’s tallest ‘Shrimp Cocktail Tower’ and fabulous selection of prawn and shrimp dishes is a real feast for seafood lovers. The brunch is available from 123pm and is priced at B1,150 per person including soft drinks. Free for children aged less than 12 years.
02 261 7100. rembrandtbkk.com
02 649 6666. sukhumvitbangkok.doubletree.com
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Meet the Chef SERVING UP
Music you listen to whilst cooking? I love to sing in the kitchen.
Executive Chef, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen's Park Hotel
Most inﬂuential chef? Chef Ian Philmore, the ﬁrst chef I ever worked for.
Favourite wine? Riesling from the Clair Valley, Buttery Chardonnays aged reds.
Best meal you’ve ever have? The eight-course dinner in the Parliament House in Canberra, Australia. Best advice you’ve ever received? It’s up to you to sieve the salt from the sand and develop your own style. Greatest achievement to date? Chef of the Year for the JW Marriott brand worldwide in 2012.
Three words that best describe your cooking? Simple, organic approach, taste. What’s your cooking philosophy? Source the best ingredients from what’s locally available.
What do you like doing when you’re not busy cooking? Hanging out drinking coffee with family friends and my two French Bulldogs. Utensils you can’t do without? My knife. I can’t stand a blunt one.
Your signature dish? Braised short ribs with buttery celeriac and baby kale.
Biggest culinary myth? Too many cooks spoil the broth.
Most difﬁcult ingredient to work with? Sugar and eggs. I have no patience or time for meringue.
What would you be if you weren’t a chef? Maybe an actor or a farmer.
■ SPENT his childhood cooking for his family in Queensland, Executive Chef Michael Hogan of Bangkok Marriott Queen’s Park Hotel has been inﬂuenced by food his entire life. Recently won the JW Marriott’s global ‘Chef of the Year’, his creative talent is evident in every dishes he and his team prepared. Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park. 199 Sukhumvit 22. 02 059 5555. www.bangkokmarriottmarquis.com
Egg Noodles Boiled then stir-fried in a wok with sesame oil and seasoning.
Steamed king crab with Szechuan spicy chili sauce Succulent king crab caught fresh from the land and cooked to perfection from Chinese-style wok, serve with fried egg noodles â€“ at Oasis
Fresh Crab Szechuan spicy sauce
Caught fresh and prepared in a wok over high heat in Szechuan spices.
Spicy sauce made from hot chili, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce.
Bell Peppers Stir-fried mixed bell peppers to balance the taste.
Chef behind the dish CHEF Praput Pranich from Oasis, Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya graduated from Dusit Thani College major in Kitchen and Restaurant Management. He has over 10 yearsâ€™ experience in kitchen and restaurant management in Thailand, Netherlands and New Zealand. He was Chef de Cuisine at Oceans and Flames restaurant and he is the Executive Sous Chef at Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya. Oasis, Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya. 277 Moo 5, Naklua Road Soi 18, Chonburi. 038 301 234. www.centarahotelsresorts.com/centaragrand/cmbr
New on the
Hot new restaurants, bars & cafes in Bangkok Pizza Massilia PIZZA Massilia recently opened its second branch on Sukhumvit 49. All pizza lovers near Sukhumvit area can choose to go whichever Pizza Massilia they are closer to, both provide wonderful pizza and atmosphere. Sukhumvit 49. 02 013 1046. pizzamassilia.com
BANGKOK` Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park hotel recently launched a new restaurant – Soba Factory. Bringing the true tastes of Japanese's homemade soba to Thailand by expert Chef Mizuho Nagao. Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park. 02 059 5999. facebook.com/ SobaFactory
RECENTLY opened on Convent Road, Mash offers American-style burger and craft beers on tap. Serving the freshest and finest selection of food and imported craft beers, the menu include juicy burgers served with housemade chips; slow-cooked ribs served with unique BBQ sauces and more. Also available are 16 taps of rotating craft beers. Soi Convent, Silom. 089 692 5666. mashbangkok.com
RECENTLY opened on Narathiwas Road, Le Cabanon offers an array of fresh seafood and other delectable dishes amidst the quiet and romantic atmosphere surrounded by beautiful greenery outside. 44 soi Akarn Songkrao. 092 568 0444. facebook.com/lecabanonBangkok
Dreamloft Thonglor’s reputation for Bangkok’s most stylish, eccentric and quirky restaurants continues with the recent opening of Dream Loft on the third floor of foodie mall The Taste, Soi 11. This beautifully designed multi-level venue has it all. In addition to a glass floor dining area set right above a pool table, huge bed-size sofas equipped with their own TVs and comfortable bars, Dream Loft is decorated with antiques (including an overhead light from a surgery and a propeller from a WW2 plane) from owner Ratch Osathanugrah’s personal collection. The menu is very cosmopolitan and includes a reasonably priced business lunch at only B499. Drinks include signature cocktails and a decent wine selection. Dream Loft is available for private parties. For more information, contact 02 101 9432, facebook.com/dreamloftbangkok
A small and cozy Italian restaurant recently opened on Thonglor 9, La Dotta is located in a two-storey building. Each floor is decked different to accommodate a variety of atmosphere. The first floor features an open kitchen while the second floor offers a more family or group oriented dining experience. Soi Thonglor 9. 02 392 8688. facebook.com/ladottapasta
My Kitchen at Siam Discovery Experience modern society dining at the heart of the city By Seol Hee Baik
ITH the concept of ‘EAT Meet Mingle’, My Kitchen is Thailand’s first hybrid world class dining area populated by five international restaurants and a café. The bright and spacious dining area boasts comfortable yet stylish décor. Ordering food can be done via a high-tech system through the tablet provided on the table. Serves as a dining area and a meeting place during the day, the area transformed into a trendy downtown hangout spot where popular DJs play music under colourful LED lights at night.
The six restaurants occupying My Kitchen bring their uniqueness in the mix. Dine on premium Isaan cuisine at Café Chili – serving dishes like fresh fermented rice noodles with spicy pork sauce (B110). Taste the delectable Thai food with a twist available at Everyday
Thai by Nara – northern chicken dry noodles (B135) is a must-try. For tastes of Asian food from other countries include radish cake with X.O. sauce (B135) from Man Fu Yuan and the Tuna Takaki salad (B280) from Yuzzu by Yuutaro Japanese restaurant. Other Western delights are available at Kuppadeli like the bacon and egg pizza (B265).
As for desserts and refreshing drinks, Brix Dessert Bar has you covered with a speciality like the ice cream sandwich topped with banana salted butterscotch (B225). A perfect way to conclude a hearty meal.
My Kitchen offers over 1,000 sq m with 250 seats within four areas: Reception, Lounge, Private Room, and Workshop Space. The floor-to-ceiling glass walls offer the panoramic view of downtown Bangkok. Opening hours are from 10am-10pm daily.
Parking available at Siam Discovery My Kitchen. Siam Discovery 4th Floor, Rama 1 Road. 02 658 1000. facebook.com/siamdiscovery
cut out and keep
Recipe Braised abalone and black mushroom with goose webs in brown sauce ----------------- Ingredients -----------------• • • • • • • • • • •
1 leg goose webs Black mushroom Abalone Pak Choy Iceberg lettuce Salt Oyster sauce Sugar Tapioca ﬂour Black soy sauce Chinese wine
Soup Stock • 300g Yunnan Ham • 500g Pork hip • 500g Old chicken • 5,000ml water
-------------------- Method --------------------1. Heat the oil and deep-fried goose webs in medium heat until golden.
2. Add two cups of water in the pot. Add fried goose webs, sugar, oyster sauce and slow cook for 1 hour. 3. Add black mushroom, oyster sauce, sugar, spring onion in another pot and boil until soft 4. Saute Pak Choy and Lettuce in oil and arrange on plate
5. Heat soup stock then adds salt, sugar, oyster sauce, abalone, fried goose web, Chinese wine, black mushroom, and tapioca ﬂour and cook until all ingredients are well mixed together. 6. Serve on Pak Choy and Lettuce.
Chef in focus
Chef Supakorn Wongwian
OVER 35 years’ experience in Chinese Culinary, Chef Supakorn Wongwian amassed his vast experience in Chinese cuisine during the time spent abroad at many five-star establishments. He began his career as a cook in a Chinese restaurant in China Town, held various positions including Sous Chef at Grand Hyatt Erawan. Currently, he has been putting his stamp all over the delectable menus at the Canton restaurant, the Phothalai Leisure Park’s Chinese restaurant. Phothalai Leisure Park Bangkok. 28 Yothinpattana 3, Pradimanuthum Road. 02 508 1238. www.plp.co.th
Chili Hip Imaginative menu and a view to remember By Morgan Thanarojpradit
NTERING through the rear of the Watergate Pavillion shopping and leisure complex visitors are greeted by the contemporary-decked lobby of Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok, home of Chili Hip restaurant. Located on the 20th floor, Chili Hip restaurant is set on the scenic rooftop fitted with innovative lighting offering beautiful and dramatic city vistas of Bangkok skyline. This fashionable venue serves an array of enticing Thai and Asian dishes with an extensive list of fusion cocktails and wines from around the world.
flare including Nong gae toon si-ew lae krueng thes (B520) – slow cooked lamb shank with soya sauce, lemon garlic, ginger, and spices; Khao phad supparos (B260) – stir-fried rice with shrimps, pineapple and cashew nuts; Tom yam goong ma prao-on (B320) – hot and spicy river prawns in tom yam soup; Spicy salmon tartar with fried sticky rice (B260) – tartar of fresh salmon with chilli, mint, and coriander served with fried sticky rice cakes. The dessert menu includes an array of homemade ice cream, traditional Thai desserts, including a special creation like the Chili
The fashionable venue is situated on the 20th floor of Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok offering the wide open view of the lively and unobstructed Bangkok skyline where most of the tables are al fresco with an option of a private room enclosed with coloured glass walls. Live bands play every Wednesday to Sunday from 7-9pm.
The menu at Chili Hip offers a wide range of Thai-fusion and Asian-style cuisines following the chef’s creative
PARKING Dome (B250) – thin chocolate dome filled with spicy chocolate mousse served with almond croquant and raspberry jelly.
Parking is available at Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok. Opening hours are from 7-11pm. Chili Hip. Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok. 487/26 Phetchaburi Road. 02 625 1234. centarahotelsresorts.com/chilihip
A day in the life of a Master Distiller A historian by trade, it was a match made in heaven when Steven Bashore became the Master Distiller at the historic George Washington Distillery By Morgan Thanarojpradit
EORGE Washington was a businessman and an entrepreneur before he became the first President of the United States. He owned over 8,000 acres of farmland in Virginia and he was one of the most successful businessmen in his time. Renovated 11 years ago, the George Washington Distillery has been kept true to the original elegance. This is the only historical distillery in operation in the USA where whisky is produced using 18th-century
methods without any modern distillery technology. Needless to say that his job as a Master Distiller here requires a different set of daily routines. Other than the guided tours, all workers wear the period clothing as they go about distilling premium quality American whisky. The daily routine at the distillery includes preparing the grains, cooking the grains, cutting firewood, cooking the mash over wood-fire stoves, tending the fire, distilling, proofing, bottling and labelling the whisky. It all involves manual labour which explains why there is such a small amount of George Washington bourbon made per year.
Bourbon vs Scotch
All American bourbon must follow the strict regulations according to the Mash Bill which determines what kind of grains and how much in proportion must be used per batch. For bourbon, the ingredients must include 51% corn, must be aged in new oak barrels with the minimum of 80 proof or no higher than 160
proof, must be cooked over wood-fire stoves, and no additives are allowed. Scotch whisky follows a different set of rules in the making. It is made from malted barley and aged in used American whisky barrels. Made in Scotland, the weather is much colder which allows the ageing process to last much longer. Scotch whisky can be aged for up to 12 or more years while American whisky can be aged between 6-8 years lest it will lose the peak flavours.
There are many ways to enjoy bourbon. US whisky blends well with mixers so they are great with cocktails. For those who would like to truly experience the taste of bourbon, he explained that drinking it ‘on the rocks’ is the best way to go. Just let the ice melt a bit first to take the edge off and it will be much smoother and easier to enjoy even for non-bourbon drinkers. Since American Whisky is on a resurgence at the moment, he is hoping to see more variety of bourbon in Southeast Asian countries in the future.
Outback Steakhouse lunch menu By Morgan Thanarojpradit
NCE again we revisited this always friendly establishment. Located at Siam Discovery Bangkok, the unique Aussie-themed restaurant has been serving prime quality cuts of steaks, ribs, succulent fish and much more for years. This time the restaurant is launching its special Outback Steakhouse Lunch Menu at attractive prices.
The appetiser was Fish and Chips (B299) – pieces of tender fish, battered and deep fried until beautifully golden brown served with Aussie fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce. Followed by the delicious Toowoomba Pasta (B299) – a plate of grilled shrimp, mushrooms and parmesan with fettuccine and a light tomato cream sauce. Another must-not-miss dish is the Chicken on the Barbie (B299) – chicken breasts seasoned and grilled to perfection served with BBQ sauce and fresh seasonal veggies. And
topped with bacon, cheese, pickles, onions, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato served with Aussie fries. Also available with the lunch menu are soup (B89), salad (B149) and soft drinks (B79). The lunch menu is available Monday to Friday from 12 - 2 pm at Outback Steakhouse on the 4th floor at Siam Discovery. then there are Outback Steakhouse’s famous Half baby back ribs (B389) – these fall-off-the-bone ribs are just the way it should be, succulent and saucy, each rack is smoked, grilled and brushed with Outback Steakhouse’s BBQ sauce served with Aussie fries on the side. Next, we were treated to the Grilled fish marsala (B389) – fresh fish of the day lightly seasoned and grilled, topped with spinach and mushroom marsala sauce served with mash potatoes and fresh vegetables. Followed by the Bacon Cheeseburger (B389) – succulent meat paddies
The Outback Steakhouse diners will appreciate the calm and homely atmosphere and the helpful and friendly staff, located in a leading department store right in the heart of Bangkok.
Parking is available at Siam Discovery. Opening hours Open daily from 11am - 10pm. Outback Steakhouse. 4th ﬂoor, Siam Discovery, Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan 10330. 02 658 0202. Web: www.outback-sea.com. FB: Outback Steakhouse Thailand
Scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus
Authentic Japanese Noodles at Soba Factory BANGKOK Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park now serves up authentic taste of Tokyo at its traditional Japanese noodle house, Soba Factory. Led by Chef Mizuho Nagano – a celebrated Japanese chef whose father was honoured as Japan’s top soba chef by the Japanese government – Soba Factory recreates a classical ‘izakaya’ with its casual vibe, traditional ingredients and recipes.
Portugal National Day at My Kitchen A new hangout in the city center, My Kitchen at 4th Floor at Siam Discovery joined hands with the Embassy of Portugal recently celebrated Portugal’s National Day and 437th anniversary with Portuguese classics and fusion dishes and fun activities.
Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park Bangkok’s biggest and best Sunday Brunch on Sukhumvit Road
HOWCASING one of the largest selection of dishes and delicacies from around the world, Goji Kitchen + Bar is offering one of the best Sunday Brunches in town at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park on Sukhumvit Soi 22.
and sashimi, Chinese ‘xiao long bao’ steamed buns, and an array of traditional Thai favourites including noodles, curry, som tam and more. Finally, the dessert corner includes a wide mouth-watering selection of delectable sweets like apple pies, cheesecakes, tiramisu, coconut cakes, and fresh fruits.
The Sunday Brunch offers multiple live cooking stations with á la minute dishes made in front of your eyes. The available choices include fresh Alaskan king crab, Spanish suckling pig, prime tomahawk beef grilled to perfection, and more flame grilled delicacies to choose from. Also available is an array of delicious cheeses and cured meats. Next is a selection of Asian favourites including the freshest Japanese sushi
contemporary furniture. The live cooking stations are lined up on one side while the table settings are arranged with plenty of space in between. There’s also an outside seating area available. The Sunday Brunch is available every Sunday from 11.45am – 2.30 pm. Prices start from B1,800++ per person with a choice of free-flow beverages to choose from B99++, B499++, and B950++. Reservation is recommended.
PARKING There’s definitely something for everyone at Goji Kitchen + Bar.
The restaurant is decked in beautiful dark-coloured wood with elegant
Valet parking is available at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park.
Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park. 199 Sukhumvit Soi 22. 02 059 5999. www.bangkokmarriottmarquis.com
Scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus
The Artisan Gourmet Boutique Launched VIVIN recently launched its first-ofa-kind European and French-Thai style artisan products at Emquartier Gourmet Market. Now the upper Sukhumvit locals can enjoy premium this unique European & FrenchThai style artisan products.
Orange Wine Week 2017 ABOUT Eatery welcomed diners and wine lovers to discover or reacquaint themselves with the wonders of the ancient natural method and characteristics of Orange Wine.
Old Pulteney MasterClass THAI Beverage Marketing Co., Ltd. shared the ultimate Scotch whisky experience with the launch of Old Pulteney – the world’s best premium single-malt whisky at the House on Sathorn.
Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort Where brunch gets fresher and tastier by the river
HE Trader Vic’s restaurant at Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort transforms itself into a haven for eager foodies every Sunday. Presenting a new brunch concept, the restaurant is offering an ever widening selection of premium cuisine with an array of live cooking stations and soothing entertainment from international musicians.
you’ll find a variety of hams, salamis, and signature á la minute salads. Also on offer are freshly made sushi and sashimi crafted by expert chefs. End your feast with a selection of delectable cheeses, chocolate cakes, cheesecakes, tiramisu, and an array of fresh fruits including made to order mango and sticky rice. and sparkling wine, B950++ per child aged between 5-12 years.
The culinary journey at Trader Vic’s starts with a fresh selection of seafood on ice including freshly shucked oysters, raw seafood bar, tuna poke and delectable caviar. Taste the choicest and freshest Pacific Rim produce from the island barbeque and the á la carte menu. Savour a variety of delicious offerings of prime cut meats from available live cooking stations. Switching to cold cuts and salads,
By Morgan Thanarojpradit
The Polynesian-style setting will transport you to an island offering the exotic atmosphere while the band completes the backdrop of a relaxed and enjoyable Sunday afternoon. The new brunch is available every Sunday from 11.30am-3pm priced at B1,990++ per person inclusive of soft drinks, juices and signature cocktails, B2,990++ per person inclusive of all the above plus house wines, beers
Valet parking is available at the hotel. Trader Vic’s restaurant, Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort. 257/1-3 Charoennakorn Road. 02 476 0022 ext 1416. bangkokriverdining.com
month ahead of schedule, we found ourselves in the private room of Chesa amongst friends once again. Snacks at the Bar were both unusual and tasty; my favourite was Goat Cheese Terrine on Pumpernickel but the Ox-mouth Salad proved to be equally popular. The aperitif, Bellavista Alma Franciacorta Cuveé Brut (Lombardy, Italy), was much appreciated by all (‘creamy but tart with the flavour of lemon meringue, pineapple cake and green melon, accented with hints of mineral and toasted bread’). It took some persuasion to get the group to move to the dining table. Once a year, the Club conducts an auction of ‘orphans’, leftovers from earlier lunches, and Mark Guthrie ably presided over the auction of those interspersed with clips of Orson Welles confirming “wine should never be consumed before its time” and many other humorous sketches. The serious part of the meal commenced with Baked Oyster with Crab Meat and Salmon Terrine, an eye-catching display of the virtuosity of Rene Kuhn and the team accompanied by Schneider Kaitui Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (Plalz, Germany). Both were delicious and wine spokesman John MacTaggart found the matching of food and wine perfect. Food spokesman Luigi Vercotti reminded us we had enjoyed no less than six dishes in the course of the meal. He thought the baked oyster was excellent and the terrine very savoury. Followed by Warm Caprese Soup, with Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Foam, yet another treat for the palate and technically
Guest review by
difficult as the mozzarella melts at a low temperature. This is a soup one would never find on any average menu. Poached Sea Bream Fillet Topped with Marsala on Green Pea Puree came next. The Chesa kitchen proved to be more than equal to the task as the delicate taste of the fish was not overpowered by the accompanying sauce and Domaine Begude L’Etoile Chardonnay 2014 (Limoux, South of France) proved to be an excellent match.
An Apple Granite sorbet provided a welcome break before the main course of Smoked Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin and Braised Short Rib served with Horse Radish Sauce, White Asparagus and Potatoes. This was described by Luigi as a classic Chesa dish, with beautifully cooked meat, and a generous helping of German asparagus. Accompanying this, Tom Whitcraft had unearthed a new red from Spain (Pintia Cosecha 2011) which has been described as a wine similar to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. John had nothing but praise for the smooth tasting wine getting civilised and more elegant by the year. With 15% ABV, it fulfilled all one’s hopes and might have delighted Orson also had he still been around to drink it.
Bangkok Beefsteak & Burgundy
The dessert comprised of Olive Oil Churros with Poached Swiss Plum with Crème Chantilly, Hazelnut Ice Cream and Red Wine Reduction. “How did they do this?” we asked as this proved to be another very special dish. Luigi described it as gorgeous. Finally, a tasty selection of cheeses from Switzerland (Goat cheese, smoked mountain cheese and brie stuffed with truffle) which came with the second red, Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva 2012 (Tuscany, Italy), a wine we were told that Dr Lecter would find delectable. Again the overall selection of the wines made by Thomas Boedinger earned praise from John and the rest of us. This was a very special day for the Club as our Food Master, Thomas Nowak, will celebrate his 50th birthday in July. A selection of pictures illustrating his contribution to B&B during the past 15 years was handed
over together with our thanks. For once he declined to present on our behalf the customary vote of appreciation and Thai Baht to the helpful and hardworking team of Chesa staff who has made this an extraordinarily successful occasion for the Club. Chesa Restaurant, Sukhumvit 20. 02 261 6650. Chesa-swiss.com
Ananda Hua Hin Beach Resort & Spa – the ideal family choice during school vacations
CHOOLS out, so it’s time to take the kids to the beach where they can enjoy lots of sunshine and endless opportunities to use up all that energy from the last couple of months’ studying and exams. And there’s nowhere better to go for this break than Hua Hin, an easy drive of two and half hours from Bangkok. Conveniently located just north of the town is the five-star Ananda Hua Hin Resort & Spa, a newly opened hotel that’s ideal for young families. Occupying a 30-rai site from Petkasem Road to the beach, Ananda Hua Hin features a collection of private beachfront pool villas and 173 luxurious rooms. It also boasts tropical gardens and several extensive swimming pools. The hotel is a great base to explore numerous nearby attractions that will keep youngsters occupied for hours. They include water parks, zoos, cycling, rafting and all kinds of exciting adventures in two of Thailand’s most beautiful national parks. And the kids can get close to real wildlife at an authentic animal sanctuary run by the Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand.
Hua Hin has unique connections with Thailand’s royal family who have traditionally resided in nearby beachside palaces during the hot season. Exploring some of these royal buildings, several of which date back many decades gives young students an interesting new perspective to their history lessons. Ananda has a unique ‘Check-in, Bliss-out’ concierge service offering guests everything from impressionist watercolour painting classes to a videography programme, and a private beauty menu in the hotel’s superbly equipped Spa. It also boasts a selection of elegant classic cars to explore the nearby hills, or to visit local golf courses and Hua Hin’s famous vineyards. The resort’s dining options are extremely attractive, ranging from international fare to Creole, buffets, stylish dinners and the freshest seafood in an Italian-inspired restaurant. Ananda Hua Hin is a managed by Compass Hospitality, one of Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing hospitality management companies with a
portfolio of 42 hospitality properties across all market segments. General Manager Nigel Tovey, a veteran of Thailand’s hotel industry, commented: “Ananda Hua Hin is a brilliant place for families with young children, especially during the schools’ long holidays. We have lots to occupy young minds and bodies here, including one of Hua Hin’s largest swimming pools as well as bikes to explore the surrounding countryside. “We’re also close to all kinds of wonderful natural attractions such as waterfalls and truly amazing national parks.” One of the hotel’s highlights is Ananda Pool Villa Collection, a cluster of luxurious and spacious private units with their own outdoor space and private pool. The 900 sq m is Hua Hin’s largest facility of its kind, making it ideal for meetings, parties and weddings. For reservations, contact 032 898 989. rsvns@anandahuahin. com. www.anandahuahin
A 50-year-old Sports Legacy
RAILL International School’s founder, Anthony Traill, had strong Olympic ties and it was only natural he created the school out of a strong and lasting sports ethos. Before becoming Thailand’s national athletics coach, he was a coach for the British athletics team for two Olympic Games and two Commonwealth Games. Not long after leading the Thai National team at the Tokyo Olympics, Mr Traill set up the School to cater to the needs of expats in need of a traditional British
academic education. In addition, he made sure that sports would be an important part of the school – and that has remained in place to this day. Academic excellence remains the school’s priority with numerous awards achieved by its students with entry to the world’s leading universities. Though not a large school, Traill International School is active in inter-school competitions such as BISAC and FOBISIA. Variable sports classes of basketball, swimming, athletics, volleyball, football, badminton, golf, tennis and softball are all offered. Unique to the school, however, is an elite programme in football and basketball that develops the most talented students who dream of a professional career in the future. For students who are interested in taking sports to a professional level, this is an incredible program to be part of. This year alone has seen 4 boys achieved full basketball scholarships for universities. Recent sporting highlights include Tommy Stevens having been accepted to Reading FC in England and about to sign a professional contract with
the club this summer; and four other senior boys who were invited to live and train at Dundee United FC in Scotland during November and December 2016. The success of Traill teams at international overseas events including winning the prestigious Asia-Pacific Basketball Championships in Singapore in 2014 and 2016, coupled with being crowned champions at the NCAA Pacific-Rim basketball championships in 2016 and 2017 demonstrates a current worldclass sports programme. Team spirit, good character, and mental toughness are some of the numerous life skills achieved through sports. Anthony Traill truly believed in the benefits of an excellent sports programme that would build more balanced all round student who would eventually perform better in their academic studies as well. The school looks forward to continuing this legacy of complementing a strong academic programme with sports – achieving potential through an exceptional team of teachers and coaches. www.traillschool.ac.th
Class of 2017 write a new chapter in the Shrewsbury Success Story • 89 students secured over 370 university offers • 170 offers to 32 of the World’s Top 100 Universities • UK offers include Cambridge, LSE, Imperial, UCL, Kings College and Edinburgh University • US offers include Yale, Berkeley, UPenn, UCLA, Columbia and NYU • 1st Choices destinations also include Canada, Thailand, China, Japan and Netherlands • 47 different first choice universities, including 9 first-time choices for Shrewsbury students
HIS June, 89 students from Shrewsbury International School will complete their A-level examinations and will be looking forward to the prospect of starting a brand new chapter in their lives at some of the greatest universities around the world. As usual, many will head to highprofile universities in the UK and USA, including Cambridge, Imperial, Yale, UC Berkeley, Columbia, UPenn and NYU, but the wider picture tells
a story of incredible variety. Nine students have secured first choice offers to universities never before attended by Shrewsbury graduates and which, if all goes as planned, would bring to 200 the number of different university destinations since 2004; statistics that underline the high regard that universities have around the world for both the British Curriculum’s A level qualifications, and for the outstanding calibre of applications that help to set Shrewsbury students apart from the competition.
“These offers demonstrate not only the talent and hard work of our students but the incredible choice that a Shrewsbury education is able to provide”, comments Robert Millar, Head of Academics at Shrewsbury. “Our teachers and specialist advisors, particularly in the Higher Education team, give our students and their families the support, advice and confidence they need to make the subject and university choices that are right for them. In turn, this allows our students to get the most out of their education at Shrewsbury and beyond, and the best possible chance of achieving their goals. On behalf of the whole Shrewsbury community, I wish all of our graduating class, and their younger counterparts who are currently sitting their AS Level and GCSE exams, the very best of luck”. Shrewsbury International School 1922 Charoen Krung Road. www.shrewsbury.ac.th To book a school tour, contact 02 675 1888 ext 1407
Shrewsbury Class of 2017 celebrates 370 offers including 170 offers from World’s Top 100 Universities and Medical Schools
OXBRIDGE & IVY LEAGUE OFFERS
OFFERS FROM WORLD’S
TOP 100 UNIVERSITIES
TO UNIVERSITIES WORLDWIDE
Join us on the Journey to Success at Shrewsbury International School Bangkok Contact: Lucy Pederick 02 675 1888 ext. 1407 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Visit our website: www.shrewsbury.ac.th
FOBISIA A1 Primary Games 2017 at Shrewsbury
SHREWSBURY International School Bangkok hosted and participated in FOBISIA A1 Primary Games 2017, together with 200 athletes across the region; Discovery Bay School Hong Kong, Tanglin Trust School Singapore, British International School Jakarta, British International School Shanghai, Puxi and The British School of Kuala Lumpur. Young students from years 5 and 6 gathered for 3 days of sports competitions. Students from Shrewsbury especially excelled in their home ground, being enlisted to numerous awards.
Stunning Concerto Concert at Harrow Bangkok
HARROW Bangkok held the ‘Concerto Concert’ to say farewell to the current music department. There were two mini concertos, violin from Miki in year 13 and Guzheng from Pao Pao in year 11. Harrow will start its brand new Creative and Performing Arts Centre in the new academic year, marking a milestone in campus redevelopment project.
BICT Fest Inclusive Workshop TOTs PlayGroup by Singapore Programme International School SINGAPORE International School of Bangkok is introducing its new programme BICT organised ‘BICT Inclusive of Bangkok for toddlers aged 12 months to 3 years old. Starting from August 2017 to June 2018, engaging activities of music movement, story-telling, arts, outdoor play, academic games, and more are to be provided. English class (Monday and Wednesday) is priced at B350 per 2-hour session, while Mandarin Class (Friday) is priced at B450 per 2-hour session.
Programme’ through August 2017 at Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre. The programme includes four creative workshops of storytelling, movement, shadow, puppet, and music and voice. BICT believes that through participation in this learning experience, children will better develop a more all-rounded physical, emotional, and social skills.
Expat Extraordinaire She was married to the son of a former Thai prime minister, she’s designed royal palaces, worked in advertising in Madison Avenue and has run her own business in Bangkok. Now she’s dedicating herself to spirituality and healing. This is the extraordinary life of American Patricia Pibulsonggram By Ruth Gerson
HERE are many long-time expat women living in Thailand, but few have immersed themselves in Thai life and culture as deeply as Patricia (Pacharin) Pibulsonggram. A New Englander from the Boston area, Pat arrived in Bangkok in 1967, a quiet Southeast Asian backwater that was to become her home. Although over the years, she has acquired the
characteristic and qualities of a cultured Thai, Pat maintains her American origins, balancing both cultures in a most remarkable way. Love brought her to Thailand. She met her husband Nitya Pibulsonggram while he was studying in the US. He was the son of one of Thailand’s best remembered Prime ministers, Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsonggram, who served from 1938 to 1944 and again
from 1948 to 1957. Sadly, Nitya passed away three years ago after a glittering diplomatic career. When Patricia first met Nitya, the sparks didn’t fly. However, the next encounter proved very different and led to marriage in 1965. For the next two years, the couple lived on Rhode Island before moving back to Thailand. While Nitya attended Ivy League institutions such as
Dartmouth, Harvard and Brown, Patricia was educated in the highly acclaimed Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) – a fine arts and design college that laid the foundations of her future life. While her husband was completing his graduate studies at Brown University, Patricia taught art in public schools, using a programme that she had devised. She also illustrated a book, ‘Tales from Thailand’ (without having set foot in Thailand yet), which the publisher deemed suitable as she was married to a Thai man. Patricia was then appointed the print designer for a large department store producing fashion advertisements. Moving to Thailand in December 1967, Patricia quickly began to look for work. “I have worked all my life from a young age and I love it,” she said. Although work for expat women was limited at the time, Patricia found employment as the only female account executive in an advertising agency. She welcomed this new challenge as it allowed her to use her art background while honing her business skills. For the next 13 years,
Patricia worked at prominent international advertising firms in Bangkok, rising to the position of account director. Later she took her skills to agencies in New York City. In 1971, Patricia went into business with Sara Waramontri, a friend from university. The two began creating décor items and large silk collages which they sold to hotels and businesses. The company later designed and manufactured cushion covers and accessories for the Jim Thompson Silk Company. Some of these early works were displayed in the Don Muang Airport main terminal until recently. Later the work expanded into export and included women’s resort wear as well as home furnishing products. The number of employees at their factory increased to 75 people. In 1981 the two partners invited other manufacturers and designers to join them in opening a large boutique named ‘Designers Showcase’, which eventually represented the work of over 30 designers. But life had other adventures planned for Patricia. Her husband, who had a rising career in the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, was assigned to the Thai Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, where he served from 1975 to 1978. Back on familiar turf, Patricia found employment in the Madison Avenue, the Mecca of advertising.
In 1988 her life was interrupted once again as Nitya was assigned as Thai Ambassador to the United Nations in New York.
lthough she continued designing fabrics for her Bangkok business, the double workload proved too much to handle and after two years she quit her job. However, never idle and always enterprising, she used her time in New York to learn textile design at the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology and later designed textiles both for her own company and for leading home furnishings textile companies in New York such as Brunschwig & Fils and Scalamandre. This is also when she began collecting antique textiles. Upon returning to Thailand in 1980 Patricia invested her time and energy in her business, which continued to grow. In 1988 her life was interrupted once again as Nitya was assigned as Thai Ambassador to the United Nations in New York. The couple moved into the Ambassador’s old town house, a heritage-status building which she helped to repair and refurbish, overseeing design and construction. Patricia said she had worked on the
building throughout the eight years they lived there. It proved to be a careerchanging labour of love because Patricia was called upon by the Thai government to oversee the renovations of the home of H.R.H. Princess Chulabhorn in the Washington area where her husband was serving as Air Force Attaché at the Thai Embassy. Patricia served as client representative and project manager on the work. With all that was going on, she continued to design for her Thai business. Eventually, both businesses were sold to established companies. Life continued to gain momentum for the couple, as Nitya was appointed in 1996 as the Thai Ambassador to the US based in Washington D.C. Over the next four years they entertained and steadily meeting many movers and shakers including former President Clinton. Nonetheless, the whirlwind of political life did not diminish Patricia’s zeal for her work and personal interests.
here are two sides to her life, she said. One is the creative side, the other business and management. “I have always had a two-track life – but art is a constant.” In fact, there is yet another aspect that looms large in her life, and that is her spiritual side which goes back to her college days. After marrying Nitya, Patricia became interested in Buddhism and began following its tenets. In 1988 while residing in New York she began to study healing in a four-year course at Elizabeth Stratton Institute. “My life changed in 1991 when I met my spiritual master.” Indeed, 1991 seems to have marked her life as “before and after” – business and art in
Nitya Pibulsonggram (1941 – 2014) was a career diplomat and politician. After his retirement, he served as an advisor to the foreign minister and as Thailand’s chief negotiator for a Thai-US free trade agreement negotiations. In 2006 he was appointed by the military junta to be Foreign Minister of Thailand, serving in that post until early 2008. He was the sixth child of Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsonggram and Thanphuying La-iad Bhandhukravi with three sisters and two brothers. One of them, Prasong, was a Vice-Admiral who had served under the Royal Thai Armed Forces.
her early years, with the later ones dedicated to spirituality and healing. After a four-year study with the Reiki Institute for Holistic, learning the Japanese healing technique that uses guided energy, she began practicing Reiki professionally. In the year 2000 Patricia returned to Thailand. Although her life has taken a new track, she worked again for H.R.H. Princess Chulabhorn, this time on various projects at the Chidlada Palace and then on Her
Royal Highness’s new palace, a four-year project. Her work as interior designer for many other clients has also continued, though at a slower pace. She recently decided to dedicate her energy to one profession – healing. She now has a broad base of clients. She collaborates with local psychologists while teaching Reiki both here and abroad. She said: “So life continues on two tracks, but less business and more spirituality and healing.”
Spa & Wellness
01 CENTARA Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok presents Rejuvenating City Retreat Package for those who long for a revitalising break in a bustling city. Priced at B3,450++ per room per night for a minimum of 2-night stay in a deluxe room, the offer is available for booking until 30 December. 02 541 1234. centarahotelsresorts.com 01 Rejuvenating City RetReat PaCkage 02 FouR Hands Massage 03 oRiental Fusion Massage
02 PAMPER yourself at Spa Cenvaree with Four Hands Massage, a signature treatment at Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld. Priced at B3,200++ per person for a 90-minute or B3,600++ per person for a full 120-minute session. 02 769 1234. spacenvaree.com
03 COMBININGNG the harmony of classic Eastern and Western relaxation techniques, Oriental Fusion Massage at Quan Spa promotes a 60-minute of oriental body massage with the therapeutic benefits. Priced at B2,450++ per person, the offer is available until September 30, 2017. 02 059 5555. renaissancebangkok.com
Do you eat enough fibre? A
NALYSING my clients’ eating habits in front of a Nutrition Coaching shows that most people in Thailand have two major deficiencies before even looking at their nutrient intake as such. Most people and especially younger people, don’t eat enough fibre.
What exactly is fibre, why do we need it and how do we get it? Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, fibre cannot be broken down into sugar molecules,
instead, it passes through the body undigested. Fibre helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check. Children and adults need at least 20 to 30 grammes of fibre per day for good health, but most people get only about 15 grammes a day.
Insoluble fibre, which does not dissolve in water, can help food move through your digestive system, promoting regularity and helping prevent constipation. Foods with insoluble fibres include whole grains, legumes, carrots, celery, fennel and simply every other vegetable and fruit.
Fibre comes in two varieties
Most whole foods have a combination of both kinds of fibre.
Soluble fibre, which dissolves in water and can help lower glucose levels as well as help lower blood cholesterol. Foods with soluble fibre include oatmeal, nuts, beans, seeds, lentils, flaxseed, Brussel sprouts, apples and blueberries.
Some small tips for increasing fibre intake: • Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices. • Replace white rice, bread, and
pasta with brown rice and whole grain products. • For breakfast, choose cereals that have whole grain as their first ingredient and no added sugar • Snack on raw vegetables or fruits instead of chips, crackers, or chocolate bars. • Substitute beans or legumes for meat or grains two to three times per week as a side dish or in salads, soups or curries
Fibre and disease Fibre appears to reduce the risk of developing various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, and constipation.
igh intake of dietary fibre has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease in a number of large studies that followed people for many years. In a Harvard study of over 40,000 male health professionals, researchers found that a high total dietary fibre intake was linked to a 40 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease. A related Harvard study of female nurses produced quite similar findings.
Higher fibre intake has also been linked to a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, a combination of factors that increases the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. These factors include high blood pressure, high insulin levels, excess weight (especially around the abdomen), high levels of triglycerides, and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Several studies suggest that higher intake of fibre may offer protective benefits from this syndrome.
Type 2 Diabetes Diets low in fibre and high in foods that cause sudden increases in blood sugar may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Both Harvard studies – of female nurses and of male health professional – found that this type of diet more than doubled the risk of type 2 diabetes when compared to a diet high in cereal fibre and low in highglycaemic-index foods. A diet high in cereal fibre was linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Diverticular disease Diverticulitis, an inflammation of the intestine, is one of the most common age-related disorders of the colon
in Western society. Among male health professionals in a long-term follow-up study, eating dietary fibre, particularly insoluble fibre, was associated with about a 40 percent lower risk of diverticular disease.
Fibre and constipation Constipation is the most common gastrointestinal complaint in Thailand, and consumption of fibre seems to relieve and prevent constipation.
The fibre in wheat bran and oat bran is considered more effective than fibre from fruits and vegetables. Experts recommend increasing fibre intake gradually rather than suddenly, and because fibre absorbs water, beverage intake should be increased as fibre intake increases.
Breast cancer A large-scale 2016 study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health showed findings that higher fibre intake reduces breast cancer risk, suggesting that fibre intake during adolescence and early adulthood may be particularly important. Women who eat more high-fibre foods during adolescence and young adulthood, including vegetables and fruit, may have significantly lower breast cancer risk than those who eat less dietary fibre when young.
Judith Coulson is a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist, Medical Nutritionist and Lifestyle Coach working with individuals, executive teams, schools and companies based in Thailand and Hong Kong. http://lifestylefoodclinic.com, http://corporate-wellness.asia
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Vitallife wins prestigious award at premier healthcare conference
HAILAND’s leading wellness centre, Vitallife Corporation, recently won the prestigious ‘Integrated Health and Wellness Service Provider’ award at the 2017 Asia Pacific Healthcare & Medical Tourism Conference held in Jakarta, Indonesia. The event, a joint collaboration between Global Health and Travel (GHT) and AB Bernstein, is the premier healthcare gathering in Asia, with delegates comprising of C-level executives and senior management. Vitallife, a subsidiary of Bumrungrad International Hospital, has for the past 16 years committed itself to providing its patients with personal integrative health care with the goal of delaying the onset of agerelated disease and decline while improving their overall wellbeing. Today, working under the slogan ‘Integrated Longevity Medicine,’ Vitallife is one of the largest and most sophisticated wellness centres globally, a proven pioneer in Asian Wellness specialising in quality care and outstanding service. Commenting on the award, Vitallife’s Medical Director Dr Pangsak Sugkraroek said he and his team were proud but pleasantly surprised by such high-level recognition. “It’s a great compliment for all the hard work we’ve put in over the years to build Vitallife’s advanced antiageing clinic.” Dr Pongsak, the founder of Vitallife and regular TV personality, says that the clinic’s success has come from its emphasis on
“increasing the health span of our clients, so they feel well until the last days of their life. “We do this through four key areas - predictive, preventive, revitalising and regenerative treatments. “The mind set of people is to wait until they’re sick and then find a hospital to take care of them. By that time, they could already be as much as 80% dysfunctional, so major organs like the heart, for example, may have only 20% of its life left. “Our goal is to stop, slow down or even reverse the ageing process – and to prevent the preventable. “Time is precious, so we talk with our clients to generate a personalised longevity index, with checks on stress, metabolism, fitness, hormones, vitamins and general lifestyle. “We don’t treat diseases. Our partner hospital at Bumrungrad does that. “Doctors working in conventional medicine did not initially understand our pioneering team of wellness experts was trying to achieve. But after explaining our concept and having seen for themselves the results, they now recognise our work. Today, we complement each other. “Through a continuous
commitment to research and development, we want to prevent the preventable and delay the inevitable.” Customer visits to Vitallife continue to grow and now total more than 15,000 per year. They include clients from China, United States, United Arab Emirates, Myanmar, Qatar, Bangladesh, Oman, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand. Dr Pangsak is proud of his colleagues at Vitallife. “Our staff are like a family and we treat every client with genuine passion. Everybody supports our slogan: “We want people to be well the natural way, for a long time. “While we always try to be the leader in wellness, we’re never arrogant. Just humble.” The GHT-Bernstein Awards celebrate and recognise healthcare providers that have maintained consistently high standards for delivering customer value and demonstrated outstanding performance in terms of initiatives that can improve the way healthcare is delivered through areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development.
VOGUE GALA WITH VAN CLEEF & ARPELS AN evening of elegance endorsed by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, Vogue Gala, was held at the Pristine Park Hyatt Bangkok. Featuring unique pieces from luxury brands such as Van Cleef & Arpels and more, the items were auctioned for Her Majesty’s Queen Sirikit’s SUPPORT Foundation, to preserve the rare craft of Ikat silk.
DOK MAI JAN
CENTRAL Group, together with the public, pay their respects and love to the late H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej by creating three million “Dok Mai Jan” (funeral wood flower) for his cremation. Many branches have participated in this project, such as Central Plaza, Central Festival, Central Department Store, Central Embassy and Robinson Lifestyle Center.
MUSHROOM PLUS LIVE THE PLUS LIFE
THAI Health Co,, Ltd. recently debuted their newest presenter of their imported healthy mushroom juice, Nawat Itsaragrisil, at the ‘Mushroom Plus Live The Plus Life’ event. The event was bursting with life, attended by TV show host Ajarn Kartha Chinabanchorn, the famous fortune-teller, and five lovely ladies from the 2016 Miss Grand Thailand Contest.
SIAM DISCOVERY RAISES ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS
SIAM Piwat Co., Ltd – owner, operator of world-renowned projects including Siam Paragon, Siam Center, and Siam Discovery – The Exploratorium – underlines its business strategy by putting emphasis on caring about the environment and sustainable environment.
Catastrophic collapse of hotel in Korat still ranks amongst world’s deadliest tragedies Additional floors and heavy water tanks blamed for building’s failure, resulting in 137 deaths and hundreds of injuries By Maxmilian Wechsler
FAMOUS STORIES FROM THE PAST
N Friday the 13th, August 1993, just three months after the Kader toy factory fire that killed 188 workers and seriously injured hundreds more, the Royal Plaza Hotel in Korat city collapsed in mere seconds, burying hundreds of people under tons of concrete and twisted metal. A total of 137 people died and 227 were injured. For the second time in three months Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai rushed to the scene of a tragedy that would dominate local newscasts for weeks. The Royal Plaza Hotel disaster generated even more negative publicity abroad than the Kader fire (see article in June 2017 issue), because foreign nationals were among the dead. Both incidents rank among the worldâ€™s top 10 deadliest catastrophes in their
respective categories. The Kader fire is still the biggest industrial disaster in Thai history and the Royal Plaza Hotel incident remains Thailandâ€™s worst building collapse.
Down in seconds The Royal Plaza Hotel was considered the most luxurious hotel in Korat, the provincial capital of Nakhon Ratchasima province about 260 kilometers north of Bangkok. The hotel complex consisted of 134 rooms, restaurants, shops, a health club and a massage parlor. Shortly after 10am on August 13, the structural integrity of the hotel suddenly gave way, reducing the six-storey building to a pile of rubble with hundreds of people trapped inside. Only the front elevator hall was left standing. It apparently took less than 10 seconds for the building to come down. Rescue efforts were begun immediately. Hundreds of troops and civilian volunteers searched for people trapped in the ruins using crowbars and jackhammers. They formed chains, passing debris down the mountain of rubble while other rescue teams attempted, with difficulty, to create tunnels to survivors. Food, water, pain killers and saline solutions were dropped through the wreckage
Rescue efforts were begun immediately. Hundreds of troops and civilian volunteers searched for people trapped in the ruins using crowbars and jackhammers.
to those trapped below. Oxygen tubes were also lowered through openings. Second Army Region commander Lt-Gen Anuparb Songsunthorn conceded that rescue efforts had to proceed very slowly and cautiously because it was feared that the collapsed building might crumble further, endangering any survivors. He said heavy machinery could not be used and rescuers had to resort to simple tools and their bare hands. The heavy machinery rushed in by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), used to cut steel girders and thick concrete slabs at the Kader site, could not be used as yet. On Sunday night, doctors amputated the legs of 28-yearold Maneewan Chittisaksophon, a maid at the hotel. She was trapped underneath a concrete beam and the amputations were necessary to free her. A spokesman for the Interior Ministryâ€™s rescue center said another maid who was trapped close to Maneewan, 28-year-old Nataya Chinpee, was pulled out alive from the rubble early Monday. Doctors were later forced to amputate her legs in the hospital. Pannee Veesaphen, who was eight months pregnant, survived 21 hours pinned under
Feature rubble before medical crews performed an emergency C-section to deliver a generally healthy baby boy. The tragedy claimed the life of US Air Force Master Sergeant Raymon Canda, who had been stationed at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. He was helping install phones at a nearby Royal Thai Air Force base and had just walked into the hotel to use a fax machine. A US military spokesman said 12 US Air Force personnel were in the hotel and the other 11 escaped unhurt. British tourist Janet Mawdsley, 47, from Newcastle on Tyne, lost her life. She was on vacation with her husband and daughter, who both survived. It was reported but not confirmed that a Japanese national was among the dead. Among the Thai fatalities was the wife of the deputy governor of Nakhon Ratchasima province.
escue operations continued until September 3. Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn sent Thai Red Cross secretary-general Phaen Wannamethi to present bouquets on her behalf to all survivors in Korat hospitals.
EIT Executive Report On August 15, the Civil Engineering Chapter of the Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT) established a technical investigation task force group led by Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai to determine what went wrong and make recommendations to avert future tragedies. Evidence from on-site inspections and a vast collection of technical data were used to make assessments on the nature of the collapse. Structural materials were tested in a laboratory setting and
Evidence from on-site inspections and a vast collection of technical data were used to make assessments on the nature of the collapse.
models were tested as well. The results of the tests contributed to the conclusions written up in the executive summary of the task force’s report. The report also provides a good overview of the disaster. From the report: “At the time of collapse, the building was occupied by 379 people. Among them were 117 government officials from the Education Ministry who were attending a seminar in the Benchamas Room on the second floor, 59 people from Shell (Thailand) in the PikulChuanchom Room on the fourth floor, and 78 general hotel clients. The rest were 125 hotel staff. “According to the construction permit granted in 1983, the original part of the building, used as massage parlour, was a three storey, plus one underground level. In 1985, the local building authority approved a construction permit to modify the building for use as a hotel. But it was not until 1990 that a permit was sought to add three more storey to the original buildings. “The collapse was mostly vertical … leaving a neat floor-to-floor stack of concrete slabs. For structural engineers, the collapse site is similar to a building professionally torn down with the use of explosives. The entire building moved downwards under its own weight within seconds and had no time to fall sideways. “The collapse in Korat was rather uncommon for the
following reasons: (1) Most building collapses occur either during or just after the construction. In this case, the collapse occurred about three years after the last modification. (2) Most building collapses after a long period of use are caused by unexpected forces of nature, such as earthquakes, strong gusts of wind, etc. At the time of collapse in Korat, however, there was no report of any harsh environment, nor any report of misuse of the building to the extent that could generate a devastating force of such a scale to causes its swift and total collapse. “Judging from the mode of failure, it can only be concluded that the collapse started when all columns on the ground level failed at nearly the same time, causing the entire building to fall under its own weight.” As for wider implications of the disaster, the EIT had this to say: “Under the ongoing economic fast-tracking now experienced in Thailand, economic considerations seem to be the main factors dictating and allowing deviations in standard practices of many professions. While entrepreneurs want to cash in with minimum investment, they should be far-sighted enough to invest more to prevent unacceptable risks.” The report also noted that Prime Minister Chuan ordered public universities to help review the safety of buildings
with suspected structural weaknesses throughout the country. In all, 218 buildings were brought under investigation and a number of them received recommendations for renovation. The report concluded that because of the Korat disaster engineering practices in Thailand had been had been called into question, adding that engineering professionals seemed to be in agreement that the profession was in need of a major re-structuring.
he Washington Post said the Royal Plaza collapse “wasn’t simply a tragic accident, but according to western experts, an example of negligence, greed and professional inexperience.” Local media reports emerged which revealed that three huge water storage tanks, each with an alleged capacity of 50,000 litres, had been erected on the rooftop and thousands of gallons of water had been pumped into the tanks a few days before the collapse in the expectation of a water shortage. Safety experts said that all the extra weight on an already inadequate foundation contributed to the collapse of the hotel. The experts also said the failure to strengthen foundations and columns during building add-ons later culminated in the tragedy. Hotel employees told police they had recently alerted the management about cracks in the building. One hotel staff member, Yutthana Preechanuparb, told a Bangkok newspaper that employees had lodged a complaint with provincial authorities, who had been scheduled to investigate the cracks the day of the collapse. The Nation newspaper reported that “documents found among Royal Plaza ruins showed that the hotel’s management was aware of dozens of cracks that had appeared in the building’s structure at least eight months ago.” The documents, the paper
said, recorded how workers had repaired overhead cracks in at least 39 rooms. Prime Minister Chuan was obviously not happy about having to deal with another completely avoidable catastrophe so soon after the Kader fire. Speaking to reporters at the scene, Mr Chuan seemed certain that the collapse was the result of negligence, and noted that some government inspectors take bribes in exchange for approving the construction of unsafe buildings. “It seems we Thais do not respect regulations and this has resulted in frequent problems,” the PM said. He pledged to bring those responsible for the hotel
also urged the BMA to check buildings in the capital that went up during the 1987-1990 construction boom. Yodyiam Thepthranon, vice-president of the Association of Siamese Architects, said in a letter to Bangkok Deputy Governor Karoon Chandrangsu that tragedies like the Royal Plaza Hotel were more likely in buildings constructed during the boom when, for example, sub-standard materials might have been used. The Korat disaster also led to the establishment of the Thailand Engineering Council and more stringent registration processes for engineers. In order to practice engineering in Thailand, it became necessary to register with the council and face routine scrutiny of work ethics and practices. The council stresses the moral obligations of those wishing to practice the profession.
Arrests and penalties
disaster to justice and to toughen enforcement of government safety standards. “The government may have to overhaul the [building control] system,” he told reporters. He said legal and engineering experts had been asked to start working on solutions as soon as the emergency rescue mission was over. “I have always wondered how a person could study and be educated in a profession and then be so negligent in his work. The concerned authorities must abide by the law,” said Mr Chuan. He added that the investigation must be conducted with justice, regardless of whether local influential personalities or politicians had shares in the hotel. On Sunday he ordered the nationwide inspection of highrise buildings to prevent more disasters. A group of Bangkok architects
Criminal charges were filed against 15 people, including the hotel owner and management and various engineers and municipal officials. Only one person, designand-construction supervising engineer Bampen Panratissara, was found guilty of a criminal offence. He was sentenced by the Supreme Court in 2003 to 37 years in prison. The Royal Plaza Hotel Company paid compensation to all victims. In March 2009, the Nakhon Ratchasima Court of Appeals ordered five defendants in a lawsuit filed by Royal Plaza Hotel Company to pay 152.23 million baht as compensation to the company for its losses. The compensation amount was subject to a 7.5 percent annual interest rate from August 13, 1993. According to press reports, the five defendants were Nakhon Ratchasima Municipality, Wongsinthai Limited Partnership, its owner Amorn Janrattanaprada, and engineers Sathorn Promnin and Bampen Panratissara.
Steven Seagal brings star power to Russian National Day gala By Maxmilian Wechsler
Photo by Sudhipak Chirathivat
Steven Seagal and Maxmilian Wechsler at Russian National Day gala
T’s not every day you meet a Hollywood action hero in Bangkok, but guests at the recent Russian National Day reception at the Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok had that opportunity when Steven Seagal suddenly entered the ballroom. The place was packed with diplomats and distinguished foreign and Thai guests on hand to commemorate the 120th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Thailand on June 8. The celebration was in full swing and already one to remember, but when the legendary actor, director, producer, screenwriter, martial artist and musician made his appearance it definitely took the festive atmosphere up a notch. In fact, there was a moment of pandemonium as guests of all status ran up to crowd around the superstar.
Not to worry: At 193 cm tall, Steven stands out in almost any crowd. Many guests expressed surprise that he’s such a big man, and at the age of 65 still very fit. Looking youthful with a full head of hair, the actor wore an elegant black outfit and spoke in the same soft and deep voice that is instantly recognisable to his fans. He spoke first with Russian Ambassador Kirill Barsky for a few minutes as guests snapped their photos. After their conversation ended many guests were lucky to get selfies with Steven. He stood in the middle of the crowd and obliged anyone who approached, greeting many guests with a traditional Thai wai. One excited middle-aged Thai woman came up close and said: “We love you and your movies.” An elderly Russian-born gentleman wearing several decorations on his jacket
pushed his way up to Steven and told him how much he also enjoyed his films. After a while Steven took a seat and fans were able to share a few words with him while they had their photos taken. He stayed in the ballroom for about 20 minutes before taking his leave and waving goodbye to the room. A devoted Buddhist, Steven has visited Thailand many times in the past 30 years and shot Belly of the Beast here in 2003. In April 2016 he visited the Thai Parliament and spoke to members of his plan to produce two films in the country. The actor also has a strong Russian connection. His grandparents were Russian Jews and his father moved from Russia to the United States. Steven was born in Lansing, Michigan. On November 3, 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin granted him Russian citizenship and personally presented him with a Russian passport at the Kremlin. When Mr Putin congratulated him, Steven thanked him in Russian. According to The Independent, “Putin reportedly said he hoped the move would foster better US-Russia relations.” Two days later Steven was also granted Serbian nationality, following several visits to the country during which he met with former Serbian President Tomislav Nikoli and other high-ranking government officials. According to press reports, in December 2016 Steven was offered a job training Serbian police special forces and teaching them Aikido. He holds a 7th dan black belt in the sport and has expressed an interest in establishing an Aikido school in the Serbian capital Belgrade.
enerally speaking, Steven is extremely popular in Eastern Europe, but the welcome mat isn’t extended across the region. The Sun reported on May 6 this year that “Steven Seagal has been barred from entering Ukraine for five years after security services (SBU) labelled him a security threat.” The SBU said: “A decision concerning an entry ban is taken if there is enough information… about a person committing a socially dangerous act that contradicts the interests of Ukraine’s security protection, irrespective of the territory [where] it was committed.” It’s highly likely that politics played a much bigger role in this decision than any legitimate security concerns. When Steven hit the silver screen in 1988 with his first film Above the Law, it became an instant hit. Since then he’s appeared in more than 50 films and two television series: Steven Seagal: Lawman and True Justice. Steven produces most of his films, all of which feature a unique character who displays supreme confidence and composure in the way he walks and
talks. With cat-like quickness, he is adept at subduing the most dangerous armed criminals with a few simple moves of his hands and body. Some of the films that claimed blockbuster status include: Hard to Kill (1990); Out for Justice (1991); Under Siege (1992); Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995); The Glimmer Man (1996); Fire Down Below (1997); Belly of the Beast (2003); Into the Sun (2005); Flight of Fury (2007); Urban Justice (2007); Machete (2010) and Absolution (2015). The Killer was released this year. With the exception of Machete, in which he plays a violent drug lord, Steven invariably takes on the bad guys and defeats them with a combination of cunning, physical artistry and daring. Steven is a versatile and multi-talented star whose passion and character are embodied in his films. According to people who know him well, he is deeply caring and quite humble. This was certainly the impression he made on a very special evening in the ballroom of the Shangri-La Hotel.
Diplomats p Meet the people uniting nations
H.E. Andelfo Garcia
Colombian Ambassador gives Thailand high marks as his time here grows short
Diplomats: H.E. Andelfo Garcia
Colombian Ambassador gives Thailand high marks as his time here grows short
Words MAXMILIAN WECHSLER
IS Excellency Andelfo Garcia began his term in April 2013. Since then the Colombian Ambassador to Thailand and his wife Astrid, who was present during the interview, have become a highly visible and respected duo in the local diplomatic community. They were both delighted when they learned that Mr Garcia had been chosen to head the embassy here and have thoroughly enjoyed their time in the Kingdom. “We don’t know yet when my term in Thailand will end. We could be here for another few months or maybe a year; we are definitely not in a hurry to leave,” said Mr Garcia at the couple’s residence on the 64th floor of a high-rise in central Bangkok. “Before I took my ambassadorial post, my family visited Thailand for the first time as tourists in 2007. I had travelled in Asia, to China, India, Korea and Japan, but it was my first time in Southeast Asia. There were many surprises waiting for me here and I learned a lot about Thailand during that trip. However, after I arrived in 2013 to take my post I realised that Thailand had seen many changes since the visit in 2007. First of all, Bangkok now seems even more modern and vibrant. There are more activities going on, more tourists everywhere and lots of economic development. I could see many positive changes, especially in terms of economy, infrastructure and public services. “The dynamism of Thailand is very evident. Everything is working well here and that’s a big reason why tourists keep coming in bigger numbers. Of course, Thailand is a nice place to be for other reasons. Thai people are polite, welcoming and very warm. When friends visit us in Bangkok they always comment on this. And there is so much natural beauty here. All this is perfect for tourism. It seems to me that the Thai people are not fully aware of how positively their country is seen from the outside. “I have had so many memorable experiences since taking my post, and met so many interesting locals, whether government officials, business people, artists or
people from the cultural and sports worlds. Thanks to the nature of the job we have the chance to meet people from every corner of society. This presents a great opportunity to learn about the country, and making friends from different sectors of Thai society helps a lot in my work. “Thailand is a country full of life so vibrant and so much activity everywhere. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Bangkok is an easy city to live in. I have found that big cities around the world are usually difficult to live in. But even though Bangkok has a population of around 10 million people, it is relatively easy to adjust and get around. I also feel that there is a very good level of security and safety in Bangkok. You feel comfortable, and this is very important in my work. The only difficulty we face here – and this applies to large cities around the world – is the traffic.”
Travelling man The Colombian embassy in Bangkok is located on the 18th floor of Athenee Tower on Wireless Road. Including the ambassador, it has a staff of five Colombian diplomats and six local personnel. “I am also ambassador to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar and therefore I often travel to Phnom Penh, Vientiane and Naypyidaw. “I also frequently travel throughout Thailand. I’ve often been to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Hua Hin and many other cities. The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs [MFA] generously organises trips for foreign diplomats so we have a chance to visit various provinces. Members of the diplomatic community are often accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs or the Minister of Tourism and Sports on these trips. This is such a diverse country and it’s great to have a chance to experience the atmosphere of the small towns as well as the larger urban centres. “Many people at the Thai MFA’s Americas and South Pacific Division can speak Spanish, and this makes life easier for me and my colleagues from Latin American countries. We have a small group called GRULAC consisting of diplomats from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Panama and Peru. When
Ambassadorâ€™s top ten list Ambassador Garcia prepared a list of the 10 most important areas of Thai-Colombian cooperation during his posting in Thailand: 1. Colombian President Santos and Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha had a bilateral meeting in Manila in 2015, on the sidelines of the APEC CEO Summit in the Philippines. 2. The Foreign Minister of Colombia, Maria Angela Holguin, visited Bangkok in July 2013. 3. A total of 22 Thai tourist guides has studied Spanish at Colombia universities with full scholarships from the government of Colombia. 4. A MoU on Tourism of Wellness was signed by Ministers of Tourism of Colombia
and Thailand in Medellin in September 2015. Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA) and PROCOLUMBIA (Export Tourism Investment Country Brand) celebrated five activities of cooperation in the exchange of knowledge on tourism promotion. 5. A total of 12,000 Colombians visited Thailand in 2016, representing an increase of 77 percent since 2012. The number of Thais visiting Colombia increased by 175 percent in the same period. 6. In the last five years, a total of 30 Thai children has lived with Colombian families for a year under AFS interchange programs. 7. Visa waiver for Thais travelling to Colombia who holds a US or Schengen visa. Holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports from both
countries can also travel without a visa. 8. A MoU on political consultations was signed on 2013 and the 1st Meeting on Bilateral Consultations was held in Bogota in October 2014 with the presence of the Director of America of Thai Foreign Ministry and Director of TICA. 9. Thailand and Colombia have exchanged support for more than ten candidates for office in multilateral organisations. 10. Trade between Colombia and Thailand is growing very fast. Three commercial missions of Thai businessmen have visited Colombia, and more than 30 Colombian companies have visited Thailand with the purpose of exploring business opportunities.
Carnival of Barranquilla
we meet, we usually converse in Spanish, although of course, the native language of Brazil is Portuguese. We usually invite the ambassadors of Portugal and Spain to GRULAC,” said the ambassador, adding that there is a total of 33 countries in South America including the Caribbean, but most don’t have embassies in Thailand. Mr Garcia noted that the time difference between Thailand and Colombia is 12 hours, giving him a window of opportunity for communication with his government from 6 pm until midnight Bangkok time.
Trade and tourism
Also, in 2016, nearly 2,100 new companies were established in Colombia and 853 new goods were sold in the international market. This was responsible for the generation of nearly US$2.3 billion in foreign exchange. “A number of exports from Thailand to Colombia is now more than US$250 million, and from Colombia to Thailand it’s somewhere around US$100 million, depending on the price of oil. In 2016 we sold over US$40 million worth of crude oil to Thailand, brought by tanker ships. We also export leather and precious stones. Colombian emeralds are highly appreciated here. To a lesser extent, we export fertilisers and other agricultural products. Colombia imports import auto parts, electronics, washing machines and tires for motor vehicles from Thailand. “There are numerous similarities between our two countries in terms of economics, although Colombia has a lower GDP, around US$300 billion in 2016, compared to about US$400 billion for Thailand. But although Colombia is about twice the size of Thailand, the population is much smaller, 49 million compared to 65 million. “There have been more than 30 visits from Colombians representing individual companies while I have been here. Recently there was a visit by the owners of a restaurant
mbassador Garcia said that the total Colombian exports in 2016 amounted to US$31 billion, with imports of US$45 billion. It’s estimated that trade volume will grow by 2.2 percent in 2017. “Colombia is the biggest producer of coal in Latin America and produces a lot of iron as well, but about 85 percent of foreign investment in the country is in sectors other than energy and mining.” According to documents received from Mr Garcia, in 2016 foreign direct investment exceeded US$8.3 billion which placed the country as one of the 25 largest recipients of this kind of investment in the world and second largest economy in South America and fourth largest in Latin America with the best growth projection.
Cartagena de Indias
chain specialising in Thai food. They now have 40 Thai restaurants in Bogota. The purpose of the trip was to make contact with culinary schools here and bring Thai chefs to Colombia. Thai food is very popular in Colombia. People love it. The restaurants are growing some of the ingredients. They bring seeds from Thailand. There are also visits from Thai business people to Colombia. Every year, the Thai Ministry of Commerce organises a trip for foreign business interests. In the field of tourism, Colombia reached the record figure of nearly 4.5 million of foreign visitors in 2016, generating about US$5.2 billion in revenue and nearly two million jobs in this sector. Almost 400 Thais came to Colombia in 2016, double the number in 2013. An increasing number of Colombians are visiting Thailand as
well. When I came the annual figure was about 8,000; last year it was 12,000. “About 300 Colombians reside in Thailand. Most of them live in Bangkok and are executives at international companies involved in oil, real estate or construction. Some are teachers at international schools. The number of Colombians here is small, but they are well integrated into key sectors of the economy. “Early on in my assignment here we eliminated visa requirements for Thai diplomats and also negotiated the exemption of visa requirements for holders of Cambodian and Myanmar diplomatic visas. My government also made a decision to eliminate visa requirements for Thai citizens who have been granted a US or Schengen visa.”
Putting FARC to rest
r Garcia said that probably the most momentous development for his country in recent years has been the successful culmination of the peace process between the Colombian government and FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. “The process is highly recognised worldwide as a big success for peace. The conflict has been going on for 50 years, starting in the Cold War era. “In the past five years, there has been a very active process of negotiation. The first phase of the process was secret and the second phase is public. Many issues of the agreement are very important for the future, including with regard to rural reforms, economic adjustments, security and especially the eradication of illegal drugs. Drug trafficking has been a major source of funding and weapons and other equipment for FARC, but no more,” said the ambassador. “At this moment the membership of FARC numbers about 7,000 people, located at 27 places throughout of the country. At present they are still armed, but they are accompanied and supervised by monitors from the international community and the government. Bringing the FARC members to these 27 locations and set up the monitoring process has been very successful. Before the agreement was reached FARC guerrillas were stationed at around 200 different places. They came from the jungles in every corner of the country. “It was a huge logistical endeavour to build the residences and other buildings for them and set up services, including meals and medical assistance. The Colombian government arranged for 7,000 guerrillas to be supplied with everything they need. It was a big challenge and it had to be done very quickly to comply with the road map for peace. “The biggest priority now is to see the 7,000 FARC members give up their weapons as they have promised. After 50 years of fighting this is a very big step, and it involves preparations for a transition period to allow them to become regular citizens and adapt their political struggle through democratic means if they wish to do so.
“The weapons will be collected from the guerrillas by United Nations representatives and they will be destroyed at several places. Some weapons will be used in sculptures like the one at the front of UN headquarters in New York known as ‘the knotted gun’. “One of the big challenges for the government is to study and learn from other successful peace processes, for example in Central America, Northern Ireland and South Africa. It involves finding the truth about what happened and establishing a working system for justice. We must have a commitment from the guerrillas not to repeat their illegal activities, but also a commitment from all actors involved in the internal conflict. “We have a long record of democracy in Colombia. There was a four-year period in the 1950s when the country was not democratically governed, but for almost 60 years since then, the country has had a working democracy. The FARC guerrillas started their insurgency started during the Cold War and have communist origins. They were inspired by communist groups that followed the former Soviet Union and Chinese Maoists. These groups are not in Latin America anymore. FARC raised funds from drug-related activities, but this has now been stopped completely,” said the ambassador. “You can already see a big change in the country due to the peace negotiation. A few years ago we attracted only one or two million tourists, but in 2016 there were about 4.5 million tourists. We are ready to welcome much more. The tourism sector is a big priority for my government, and in order to develop it we need tranquillity and safety.”
San Andres Island
Inter view with Astrid Garcia She doesn’t have an official position with the Colombian mission here, but Astrid Garcia is an effective representative of her country in her own right. Besides helping her husband at various diplomatic activities like lunches, dinners and receptions, she is very active in other social and charity events. She is a key member of a group of ambassadors’ spouses as well as the Young Woman’s Christian Association. Like her husband, she is impressed with the rapid development in Thailand and Bangkok in particular. “There are so many new high-rises and shopping malls. If you come to Thailand as a tourist for a short period of time you see it very differently than if you live here. I love living here. The people are so nice to us. “I am busy all the time. There are diplomatic functions going on almost daily and I really enjoy participating. In addition, we often invite guests to our residence or we accept invitations from various people. This is my life mainly in the evenings and night. During the day I work for my company. It’s a family operation called AOTA which creates marketing campaigns for corporations, countries and cities with the use of interactive art. Company headquarters is in the US. These days it’s easy to stay in control of a business no matter where you are.”
rs Garcia said that since coming to Thailand she’s collected a great many memories that are all special to her, but the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the most emotional experience. “To be a wife of an Ambassador we have been married for 42 years is a great opportunity to enjoy different cultures and meet interesting people. In Thailand, we have been invited to lunches and dinners and other functions where we were the only foreigners. We now have a very big circle of Thai friends – among them academics, politicians, business people and many others. I travel often to the provinces to experience local customs and cuisines. “I am in a group called Thailand Women’s Leaders, made up of 14 Thai women and myself. We meet once a month at our residence for dinner. The women represent many professions. We are a diverse group and we’ve all become good friends.” Mrs Garcia’s refreshing cross-cultural balance is reflected in her dress as well as her social life. She was wearing beautiful earrings and matching necklaces of Colombia Indigenous design made in Colombia to accessorise a lovely traditional Thai-style dress.
Background of H.E. Andelfo Garcia Education • New York University, MA Latin American and Caribbean Studies, New York, USA (1981) • The National University of Colombia, Doctor of Law, Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Law, Bogota, Colombia (1977) Assignments and positions • Member of the legal team of Colombia before the International Court of Justice in the cases: Nicaragua vs Colombia (2001-2012 and 2013-2017) and Ecuador vs Colombia (2008-2012). • Member of the “Centro de Pensamiento Estrategico”, a think tank established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Colombia to assess the international situation and build scenarios on future developments (2011-2012). • Deputy Head of Mission of the Republic of Colombia to the United Kingdom, London (2008-2009). • Deputy Chief of Mission of the Republic of Colombia to Spain, Madrid (2006-2007) • Ambassador Deputy Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN (1994-1998). An expert on disarmament matters. Responsible for the Coordinating Bureau of the NonAligned Movement (NAM) in New York during the three-year chairmanship of Colombia (1995-1998). • Chairman of the United Nations Disarmament Commission 1997. • Member of the Advisory Board of the Secretary-General of the UN on Disarmament Matters (1997-1998). • Vice-Chair of the Second PrepCom for the 2000 Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (1998). • Vice-Chair of the First Committee of the General Assembly of the UN-Disarmament and International Security (1997). • Deputy MFA of Colombia (1992-1994). • Member of the negotiating team of Colombia for the maritime delimitation with Jamaica. Delimitation Treaty ratified in 1994. In charge of policy-making of Colombia on the Caribbean Basin, including the establishment of the Association of Caribbean States in 1994. Co-directed the design of the new structure for the MFA of Colombia in 1993, by which the ministry was organised along geographical as well as thematic lines. Advisory roles • Corporacion Andina de Fomento, Consultant. Support for the participation of Colombia as a member of de UNSC (2011-2012). • Inter-American Development Bank. Consultant (2000-2001). Reform and enhancement of the Diplomatic Academy of the MFA of Colombia. • Corporacion Andina de Fomento. Consultant (2001). Member of Colombia’s National Group (at the MFA) in charge of the issue of “Humanitarian Intervention”. Academic position • University of California, Berkeley. Professor at LAS-Latin American Studies. Course, “The Colombian Conflict: Past and Present.” LAS 240, Spring 2002. • Columbia University. (ILAS). Visiting Scholar. Research projects and papers: “The Bureaucratic Politics of Plan Colombia”. “The Regional Crisis: the real threat”. New York (2000-2001). • Universidad Externado de Colombia. Professor of Public International Law at the Faculty of Finance, Government and International Relations (1988-1993, 1999, 2002-2004). • Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Finance and International Relations at the Externado de Colombia University (19861992). Participated in the creation of the Faculty, including the formulation of curricula. • Researcher and Professor of Public International Law at the Universidad de Los Andes, Bogota, Colombia (1982-1985).
p Last monthâ€™s best events in pictures
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Negroni Week 2017
CAMPARI celebrated a successful week-long annual Negroni Week â€“ a week where all participating bars and restaurants around the world serving classic Negroni cocktails will donate the proceeds to charity cause.
The Masque Ball
LONG Table and Johnnie Walker Gold Label recently hosted the Long Table’s 9th Year Anniversary Party under a glamorous theme of ‘The Masque Ball’.
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HUGO Exclusive concert
DUBBED by Roc Nation as ‘gangsta-rock’ style music, Hugo exclusive live concert at Maggie Choo’s was a success attended by various A-list celebrities and fans.
amBar Pool Party
GUESTS enjoyed a splashing Saturday at amBar Pool Party entertained by classic poolside bites, refreshments, and a great DJs line-up.
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Discover Wines of Italy Bangkok 2017
ANANTARA Siam Bangkok Hotel recently hosted an event where 30 wine producers came to exhibit and presented over 160 labels of premium wines to business entrepreneurs and wine enthusiasts.
Kolour in the Park Reunion
SINGHA in collaboration with Kolour recently presented a funky music festival Kolour in the park reunion 2017 – an exclusive party by the Chaophraya River under the concept ‘Singha Bring It On’ at Mango Tree, Yodpiman River Walk.
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SHOM Wine and Cheese Evening
SHOM (Spouses of Heads of Mission) accredited to Thailand hosted a Wine & Cheese event to support Rainbow Room Foundation â€“ a special needs awareness centre at the Oriental Residence.
Top3 Draught Masters to represent Thailand
THE Brewberry Co., Ltd. recently hosted the 8th ‘Stella Artois Thailand Draught Masters 2017’ to ﬁnd top three Draught Masters who will represent Thailand in the Stella Artois Regional Masters 2017 in July this year.
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DOUBLETREE welcomed the 500th hotel to the portfolio with the unveiling of the ﬁrst-ever DoubleTree Cookie-inspired cookbook. Fans can enjoy the bestloved recipes right from the comfort of their own homes.
Hard Rockâ€™s 26th Anniversary HARD Rock recently celebrated its 26th anniversary with an energetic rock concert featuring Silly Fools, Dak Rock Rider, and Poo Blackhead.
Gayson Food Village
GAYSORN Food Village now offers an array of new menus and delectable signature dishes from various legendary restaurants and bars.
Social|Last Monthâ€™s Best Events
The Pad Thai Party & Musical Soiree
THAILANDâ€™s favourite traditional dish was highlighted once again at the Pad Thai Party & Musical Soiree held at the British Embassy Residence and Gardens. The proceeds from the event went to the People Eye Care Foundation for the provision of free cataract operations in rural Thailand and the School for the Blind.
The People Exhibition by Jean Jullien
GROOVE @ Central World showcased art exhibition, featuring French artist Jean Jullien, known for ‘The Most Creative People of the Year 2015’. The exhibition depicted modern life in a sense of humour on the GROOVE’s ArtWall.
THE Philippine Embassy in Thailand recently celebrated the 119th anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence at the Grand Ballroom, Shangri-La Hotel. TheBigChilli 111
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Big Bottles Party
THE Australian Ambassador H.E. Enno Drofenik hosted the Big Bottles Party – a wine tasting event at the Centara Grand at CentralWorld.
Marconi’s First Flagship Store
DECO 2000 Co., Ltd. – the importer of the world’s leading high-end stereo sound systems Marconi celebrated its first ﬂagship store in Thailand at Central Embassy 4th ﬂoor.
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NEW RESIDENTIAL CONCEPT IN RETIREMENT THONBURI Healthcare Group launched ‘Jin Wellbeing Country’, Thailand’s first extensive residential complex developed under the ‘New Residential Concept in Retirement’ – a service that is designed to fulfil the requirements of senior citizens who are looking to live a vivacious and spirited life.
1ST ANNIVERSARY OF NOVOTEL BANGKOK NOVOTEL Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 held a merit-making ceremony in celebration of the hotel’s 1st anniversary recently at the function room, Benjasiri 1.
PCCW LAUNCHES VIU IN THAILAND
THE highly anticipated wait by Hallyu fans and the K-community in Thailand has now come to an end. Viu is finally here, offering the latest Korean content for free to all Thai users such as, ‘The Guardian’, ‘Running Man’, ‘The Law of Jungle, and more.
SANSIRI is pleased to announce the completion of its new luxurious and alluring 25-storey residential building. Located on Wireless Road, 98 Wireless has been unveiled as one of Southeast Asia’s most opulent condominiums’ and will certainly not disappoint.
GETTING older isn’t so bad after all with the Happy Birthyear to you at Dusit
Thani Hua Hin. Offering an unforgettable family trip and get a second night’s rate equal to your year of birth so the older you are, the less you pay. 032 520 009 ext 2006. Dusit.com
01 Happy birthyear promotion 02 Banyan Golf Club Hua Hin 03 Sublime Spa Experiences 04 Best Restaurant 2017 05 Dine Along the Beach in Hua Hin 02
BANYAN Golf Club Hua Hin offers memorable experience with three
exclusive promotions for golf enthusiasts. Prices start from B2,400 to B9,900. 032 616 200. Banyanthailand.com
05 FIVE of Hua Hin’s leading international resorts – Hua Hin Marriott
Resort & Spa, Hyatt Regency Hua Hin&The Barai, InterContinental Hua Hin Resort, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin and Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa came together to create ‘Dine Along the Beach’ experience – a creative culinary journey along the coast taking place every first Thursday of the month until September 2017. 032 521 234. Hyatt.com
HUA Hin Marriott Resort & Spa offers a ‘Sublime Spa Experiences’ – the perfect package for guests seeking an indulgent break from the stresses and strains of everyday life at Quan Spa. 032 904 666. marriott.com
CENTARA Grand Beach Resort and Villas Hua Hin received the Thailand Tatler’s Best Restaurant 2017 Certificate for the great performance of food quality guaranteed and outstanding hospitality of services brought the restaurant to be honoured as one of 150 best restaurants in Thailand. 032 512 021-38. Centarahotelsresorts.com
Luna La Pran The culinary pride of Pranburi awaits at Ocean’s edge
XPLORE the local flavours and produce caught fresh from the sea at Luna La Pran Restaurant at Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas. Bringing the ocean to the new menu with perfectly paired fresh seafood with the traditional Pranburi recipes. Pranburi has evolved into a place of special significance when it comes to food and drink. At Luna La Pran at Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas, we celebrate good food and the good life by making the most of the superb seafood, fruits, vegetables, herbs and meat using traditional recipes fused
with a modern twist so guests can enjoy delectable dishes while taking in the beautiful scenery. Located in the uncommercialised waterfront district of Pak Nam Pran, the restaurant sits across from the sandy beach on the Gulf of Thailand. In addition to the rooftop dining area, guests also have a choice between the glass-walled dining restaurant & bar and the adjacent terrace with the expansive view of the sea. The rooftop dining area is shielded under the white parasols during the day and provides breathtaking night views under the stars.
On offer includes Pla Muek Dad Diaw (B290) – tender sundried and fried squid served with sweet chilli sauce. You’d be missing out if you haven’t tried this dish. Recommended for a salad dish is Yam Goong Shae Buay Fu (B290) – crispy banana shrimp and green mango mixed in a spicy and tangy fish sauce dressing sprinkled with roasted cashew nuts. Larb Pla Kang Lai Yang (B320) – a unique larb dish with minced meat fashioned in Luna La Pran’s special recipe. The main ingredients are locally caught red snapper, blended
with chilli, mint, lime, and roasted rice. In fact, the red snapper is the chef’s innovation, and not exactly a Pranburi tradition. Must-try soup includes Kang Som Khai Pla Rew Kew (B330) – giant catfish roe served in a sizzling hot and sour curry with water mimosa, cabbage, and turnip. Among the delicious main courses is Pla Sai Tord Kamin Gratiam (B280) – deep fried sandfish with garlic, turmeric, and chilli sauce. A local favourite that everyone in the community ate during their childhood, the fish is served whole and the meat is so tender it falls off the bone.
Another Pranburi speciality is the Pla Muaek Kai Nueng Manao (B330) – steamed baby squid with roe in a spicy lime sauce is a perfect example. Pranburi is also renowned for its fresh pineapples and one perfect way to enjoy them is with Kao Ob Sapparot Pranburi Kap Goong Yang (B340) – combining sweet, juicy Pranburi pineapples and plump banana prawns caught fresh in Pak Nam Pran into a delicious dish. The pineapple is packed with rice then baked. The dish is served together with succulent, char-grilled prawns. The most spectacular dish on the menu for all seafood lovers is the Pak Nam Pran Barbeque Platter (B930) – a gala array of green light squid, crab, and local red snapper cooked in banana leaf to retain all the delectable tastes, accompanied with banana prawns seasoned in spicy lime sauce, BBQ sauce, and lemon. Land-based delicacies include the restaurant’s special Whole Pranburi Coconut (B180) dessert – homemade coconut ice cream made from crushed coconut hearts and juice or Baked Pranburi Pineapple (B180) – fresh pineapple baked and served with pink peppercorns and homemade Pranburi pineapple sorbet ice cream. From the ocean to the dining table, Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas and Luna La Pran will pamper your palate with the famous culinary flair of Pranburi. Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas. 9/22 Moo 5 Paknampran, Paknampran, Pran Buri, 77220. 032 909 900. www.sheratonhuahinpranburi.com
Warm Welcome at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin CENTARA Grand Beach Resort & Villas welcomed 180 travel representatives from the German-speaking market by hosting a charming outdoor garden dinner, serving traditional Thai street food.
HELMET HERO 2017 HYATT Regency Hua Hin joined forces with top Hua Hin hotels and organisations hosted the ‘Helmet Hero’ – a CSR event aimed at saving the lives of young people and raising awareness about motorcycle safety among Thai schoolchildren in Hua Hin and Prachuap Khiri Khan Province by donating 400 motorbike helmets to Baan Hua Hin Municipal School’s students with fun activities at The Venezia Hua Hin.
Dine Along the Beach HYATT Regency Hua Hin, InterContinental Hua Hin, Hua Hin Marriott Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin and Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa launched the creative culinary journey along the beach with sumptuous five-course meal from five leading luxury resorts.
Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa’s 10th Anniversary THE exclusive concert of Episode 2 “Forever Joe & Kong” kicked off with Sangrawee Band, followed by an appearance of Joe & Kong with their greatest love songs. The 1-hour bliss made for a memorable night.
Free Night Room Package
ROYAL Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers offers special ‘Free Night’ promotion. Stay at least two nights and receive an extra night for free. Rates start from B2,733++ per night per room and B3,100++ per night per room with breakfast included. Available from now until October 31, 2017. 02 665 3165. royalorchidsheraton.com
Mates’ Rates Friends or Family visiting Thailand? Let them know about these deals
One Day Pass promotion
RAMAYANA Water Park celebrated its first-year anniversary with a ‘One Day Pass ticket’ promotion that can be used to visit Ramayana Water Park, Swiss Sheep Farm, Upside Down and Silverlake Pattaya in one day. The special tickets are available for just B999 per ticket for adult and B666 per ticket for a child from today until July 31, 2017. 033 055 929. ramayanawaterpark.com
Four Points by Sheraton special rates
GET the best available rate at Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok, Sukhumvit 15. If you find a lower published rate prior to or within 24 hours of booking, simply submit a ‘Best Rate Guarantee Claim’ to us and we’ll honour the lower rate for you. Claims must be submitted at least 24 hours (48 hours for non-English Starwood Websites) prior the standard check-in time at the applicable hotels. 02 309 3000. starwoodhotels.com/fourpoints
The SIS Kata
THE SIS Kata, Phuket is offering a special promotion with price starting from B2,199 for two inclusive of breakfast. Available from today until July 31, 2017. 076 609 555. thesiskata.com
The SIS Kata launched AKSARA Collection recently launched their new resort, â€˜The SIS Kata, Phuketâ€™ amongst high-profile guests attended the event.
COAST CO PATTAYA
01 HILTON PATTAYA FEATURES ‘BAROMETRE EARTHSTAR’ 02 RELAXING AFTERNOON TEA AT MELLOW 03 BIGGER AND BETTER ASIAN AND THAI BUFFET 04 SAMUI REGATTA 2017
FLARE Restaurant at Hilton Pattaya presents the special ‘Barometre Earthstar
Duo’ – one of the best loved local ingredients only available in May and June in northern and northeastern region of Thailand. 038 253 000. hilton.com
AN afternoon of tea and treats with your friends is never a bad idea. Mellow
down at Cape Dara’s MELLOW for a spot of Classic Afternoon Tea, served wherever in the resort. Indulge in their selection of Dilma and Single Region teas, and their homemade bakery sweets. 038 933 888. capedarapattaya.com
THE dinner buffet at Ginger & Lime has become bigger and better with
an array of new dishes added to this enormous spread of Thai, Japanese, and Asian specials. Priced at B888++, the dinner buffet is available at Ginger & Line restaurant at Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya from 6 – 11 pm daily. 038 714 981. centarahotelsresorts.com/ centaragrand/cmbr
COAST CO PATTAYA
04 CENTARA Grand Beach Resort Samui showed itself capable of handling international water sports events, being the host sponsor for the Samui Regatta May 20-27, 2017. 095 417 5750. samuiregatta.com
HARD ROCK CAFÉ PATTAYA 46TH BIRTHDAY HARD Rock Café served the Hard Rock Café’s original Legendary Burger and an array of chosen dishes to the workers of Pattaya City Environmental Department crews, garbage collectors and public area cleaners in Pattaya City as a celebration of its 46th birthday.
Host of the Optimist World Championships 2017
With 60 yearâ€™s of sailing history in the kingdom, the Royal Varuna Yacht Club welcomes all sailors and participants to the Optimist World Championships July 11th - 21st, 2017
Thailand's best-read expat magazine. Find out what's hot in Bangkok and beyond. July 2017