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March 2014 08 INSIGHT News, letters, gossip and more 18 EXPAT ENTREPRENEUR AWARDS Recent nominations in focus 25 GOURMET A round up of all the best restaurant deals and gourmet events in Bangkok 48 BANGKOK’S BEST LUNCH DEALS Thirty independent restaurants where great value is the order of the day 55 EXPAT WOMEN Health, shopping, people, advice and fiction 72 DENGUE FEVER Once thought of as a disease confined to Thailand’s upcountry areas, Dengue has infiltrated cities like Bangkok 77 WHAT’S ON This month’s best events all wrapped up 89 SOCIAL Last month’s best events in pictures 103 DIPLOMATS The Czech ambassador talks about his country’s relationship with Thailand 109 HUA HIN Deals and news 125 PATTAYA News from the Eastern Seaboard

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Calling all Entrepreneurs!

THE BigChilli magazine and Bangkok Now (BNOW) are excited to announce Thailand’s very first Expat Entrepreneur Awards 2014 to highlight the contribution that foreign-owned and managed companies make to Thailand’s economy. Through the Expat Entrepreneur Awards 2014, companies established in Thailand by the country’s expatriate community will, for the first time, be recognized for their creativity, ingenuity, excellence and proven success. The Awards will be presented in a variety of categories to recognize the amazing diversity of these enterprises. The categories include: Arts & culture, Agriculture, Charities & Foundations, Construction & design, Corporate training, Education, Entertainment (music, performance), F&B (catering, restaurants), Finance, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Sports and fitness, Tech & IT, Retail (fashion, accessories), Health (wellness, spa), and more categories to be announced next month. Expatriate entrepreneurs with a business story worth sharing are invited to email thebigchillimagazine@gmail. com for a nomination form. Alternatively, please fill out the following form and send us a scanned copy. Examples of recent nominations can be found on page 18. All nominations must be submitted by August 15. The awards will be presented at a Bangkok hotel in September 2014.

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(Nominee company must be expat owned and/or managed by an expat with less than 50 employees)

Information about the nominee Business Name:____________________ Key Contact:__________________ ________________________________________________________________ Type of business:___________________ Telephone:___________________ ________________________________________________________________ Business Address:__________________ Website:______________________ ________________________________________________________________

Information about the nominator (self-nomination is allowed) Business Name:____________________ Key Contact:__________________ ________________________________________________________________ Telephone:________________________ Website:______________________ ________________________________________________________________ Business Address:__________________ Relationship to the nominee: ________________________________________________________________

Reason(s) for nominating (please also send 5 photos at 1MB each) ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________


Publisher Colin Hastings editorbigchilli@gmail.com MANAGiNG editor Adam Purcell adambigchilli@gmail.com editor Nina Hastings ninabigchilli@gmail.com AssistANt editor Chutinanta Boonyamarn nanbigchilli@gmail.com sAles & MArketiNG MANAGer Rojjana Rungrattwatchai sendtorose@gmail.com AccouNt executive Thana Pongsaskulchoti thanabigchilli@gmail.com AccouNtiNG MANAGer Saranya Choeyjanya fatcatbigchilli@gmail.com Art & ProductioN Arthawit Pundrikapa, Jaran Lakawat PhotoGrAPhy Mini Bike Gang, David Heischrek and WJ coNtributiNG Writers Anette Pollner, Johanna DeKoning, Judith Coulson, Maxmilian Wechsler, Paul Hewitt

Our online handle is ‘thebigchillimagazine’. Simply type this into Facebook’s search box, find the image of our magazine, then just click add.

We are now on Twitter. Find out what’s happening around town, which events to attend, parties to be seen at, and read all the juicy gossip! Follow us at ‘TheBigChilliMag’ No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without prior written permission from The BigChilli Co., Ltd. The opinions and views of the writers are not necessarily the views of the publishers. All details are deemed correct at the time of print, the publisher, the editor, employees and contributors can not be held responsible for any errors, inaccuracies or omissions that may occur. The editor reserves the right to accept, reject or amend any submitted artwork, photographs, illustrations and manuscripts. The BigChilli welcomes unsolicited contributions but assumes no responsibility for the safe-keeping or return of such materials damaged or lost in transit.

The BigChilli Company Ltd., 1/7 5th Fl. Room 504, Siboonrueng Bldg. 2, Convent Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel: 02 233 1774-6, 02 266 7141 Fax: 02 235 0174 e-mail: thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com Strip_AD_Foodland_Feb14_M4.indd 1

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Inbox Insight

Inbox|Have your say

thebigchillimagazine @ @gmail.com thebigchillimagazine

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HAVE YOUR SAY! Write to us at: thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com

THOUGHTS ON CORRUPTION

■ THANK you for the article on corruption in the Jan 2014 issue of the magazine. The interview with Dr. Sirilaksana of the National Anti-Corruption Commission is very informative and should be given wider distribution. I query her comment regarding the low salaries paid to many officials not justifying their seeking payments or benefits for their favours. I agree, but surveys show that most Thai people accept corruption and one reason for this is that it is widely seen that many officials are paid less than their private sector counterparts. She herself mentioned the case of a policeman who had to buy his station desk, M.C., gun and other items needed for his work.  The Singapore Government states that the payment of fair salaries to officials is an important part of its strong and successful fight against corruption. R.W.A.    

FAKING IT IN BANGKOK HAPPY READER ■ Hi Guys, I just picked up a copy of The BigChilli for the first time and I love it! I was having breakfast at Coffee Club on Naklua Road in Pattaya and saw it, read it and the staff allowed me to bring it home. Good job! Many good articles, suggestions and ads. I look forward to buying future issues.

EVERY time I’ve been to Khao San Road I’ve seen the stalls selling fake IDs and diplomas. However, it wasn’t until I read the story by Maxmilian Wechsler (02/14. P.56) that I realized just how dangerous the counterfeit documents sold here can be. To learn that the stalls are drawing the attention of customers linked to criminal networks, and not just backpackers looking for a novelty souvenir, is terrifying. It’s even worse when you consider how many years the stalls have been in operation and that, despite the fact there’s a police station at the end of the street, their business continues unabated. Makes you wonder who might be controlling it all…

COMPARING LAWS ■ THE remark that “it is ridiculous and hopelessly outdated to have a law which prevents anyone questioning or denying some aspects of the Second World War” (02/14. P.6) is a bit confusing. As far as I know, there is just the law which prevents anybody from denying the Holocaust perpetrated by Hitler, or using the symbols of this evil man – and there’s nothing ridiculous about that! The genocide of the Jews is one of the cruelest crimes in human history; one which should not be forgotten, and one which should not be denied. In the article, you draw comparisons between this “outdated” law and a certain “special law in Thailand,” but you are wide of the mark. One law is for political gain, the other is to protect the memory of millions of victims. They couldn’t be more different. Please think again. J. Thiessen, Hua Hin

READ THE BIGCHILLI FOR FREE ONLINE www.issuu.com/thebigchilli www.thebigchilli.com

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Insight

News|Local interest

Bag a bargain with BAMBI ■ TOYS, clothes, books and lots of other goodies will be on sale at BAMBI’s (Bangkok Mothers and Babies International) Yard Sale, which will be held at St. Andrews International School Sukhumvit 107 on March 15.

Hot Gossip  

■ IT is often said that playing golf in Thailand is better than

During the event the school will offer a free childcare service, so parents will be able to shop in peace while the kids enjoy free face-painting, jumping around on a bouncy castle, and taking part in many other fun games and activities. Open from 9.30am-12.30pm. Entrance donation is B60 per person. For more info see www.bambiweb.org

Nahm named best restaurant in Asia

anywhere because of the local female caddies – they’re all brains and beauty. Thai caddies are also, in general, very friendly and frequently strike up a close relationship with a male golfer during 18 holes of golf. Some players, especially newcomers, can get carried away and mistake the girl’s friendliness for flirting. And it can get them into trouble, as one tourist discovered recently when he began pawing at the poor caddie while still on the golf course. Back at the clubhouse, the lady lodged a complaint with her boss, who duly informed the golfer that the local police would be contacted....unless he compensated the caddie with a substantial sum of money. Which, of course, he did, while vowing to keep his hands on his golf clubs in future.  

■ WHENEVER a vehicle drives inexplicably slowly on a major road, it’s almost certainly due to him or her using a mobile while driving. The practice is not only illegal, but also extremely irritating and very dangerous. And most offenders get away with it because their car or van windows are heavily tinted. So what happened to the laws introduced some years back that forbade drivers from using these heavy tints? Were they conveniently forgotten because so many people had lots to hide?

■ NAHM restaurant in Bangkok last month secured the coveted No.1 spot at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards in Singapore. As well as earning the title The S.Pellegrino Asia’s Best Restaurant, it was also named The S. Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Thailand. Located in Bangkok’s Metropolitan Hotel, Nahm was opened by Australian-born chef David Thompson, whose flagship restaurant is based in London. Reviving and reinterpreting centuries-old recipes, Nahm’s cuisine is globally recognized for its quality – it first appeared on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2012 at No.50, jumping to No.32 a year later. Organised by William Reed Business Media, the prestigious Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Award is in its second year. The 2014 winners were announced at an elegant awards ceremony at the Capella Hotel, Singapore. Other entries from Thailand include Gaggan (No.3) Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin (No. 21), Bo.lan (No. 28), Eat Me (No. 37), and new entry Issaya Siamese Club in Bangkok (debuting at No. 31).

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St Patrick’s Society Emerald Ball ■ THE St Patrick’s Society of Thailand’s Emerald Ball will be held on Sat March 22 at the Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel. Tickets are B3,200 for members, B3,300 for non-members, and B31,000 for a table of 10 people (3,100 per ticket).      The Emerald Ball 2014 will include a  five-course Gala Dinner, free-flow wine and beer, an Irish Trio, Unicorn Band, DJ, singing and dancing from the Children of the Good Shepherd, midnight snacks and raffle prizes. For tickets email: emeraldball@stpatricks.in.th www.stpatricks.in.th


Insight

News|Local interest

Want to interact with your favourite magazine? Visit our website and have your say!

■ THE BigChilli website recently underwent a digital makeover and we’re so happy with the results that we thought we’d brag about it here. Still a work in progress, the website will just keep getting better every day – filled with more juicy pictures of Bangkok’s best parties, and more news of exciting events and promotions in our What’s On pages. We even plan to feature additional content on top of our usual features – extended Q&As, audio clips and the like. If you want to read the latest issue of The BigChilli you’ll find our emag waiting for you on the website’s homepage. Click

on the top banner and you’ll even be directed to Issuu.com, our online newsagent, where you can also read back copies for free. Best of all – we’re shifting the focus of the website to be less about us and more about you, our readers. We want to give you a platform where you can share your thoughts, comment on stories, and easily get in touch with us and other expats. The BigChilli Blog and Features pages are perfect for this, allowing you to comment on articles and share your views in real time. And if you prefer to keep your comments private, simply use the Contact Us page to send your message directly to our inbox. We look forward to interacting with you.

www.thebigchilli.com

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Insight

Business|Branding

Naming your brand in five easy steps Marketing consultant Pacharee Pantoomano explains how to find the perfect moniker for your business ■ EVERY so often in Bangkok, I run into former colleagues. During such encounters, as we catch up about our lives and ask about mutual acquaintances, it’s not uncommon to learn that some people have changed their names for their birthday, lunar calendar, or following a visit to a fortune teller. Thai people love to change their names (their real names as well as their nicknames) and they do so in the hope that it will boost their luck at work, with money, and in their platonic and romantic relationships. When it comes to naming a company, a product or service, though, a different approach is recommended. Prior to designating a name, a brand strategy is needed to provide direction. There are several things you’ll want to define internally i.e. • What is the brand’s unique value proposition? • What does the brand promise to deliver to its customer? • How will this brand be positioned relative to competitors? • What will be the brand’s distinctive message? • What will be the mood, tone and characteristics of the brand? After the above items have been established, you can start the brainstorming. As a business owner, I recommend that you involve key stakeholders in the exercise, such as your team and existing and potential customers.

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There’s no right or wrong name when brainstorming. There could be some names that do not resonate with you personally. Keep in mind that the brand name and its meaning have to connect with the potential customer. As a business operating in Asia, you’ll want to make sure that your brand name is easy to pronounce and that it does not have a negative connotation in another language. There are several ways to create a name. The first one is a generic name like cola, mobile phones or milk. The second way to name is to use the brand’s description; examples of these are Toys R Us and Internet Explorer. The name says it all. The third method to naming is called suggestive. These names are associated with quality, literally or metaphorically. Think LinkedIn or Nike (Nike was the Winged Goddess of Victory in Greek mythology). The fourth way is to arbitrary choose a name. These are real words used in a different context. Some of these names could have a loose association to the brand i.e. Viber, which is the cross-platform instant messaging and VOIP app. The fifth way is to name the brand after its creator or brand ambassador, like Dr. Martens boots and Swensen’s did. When

you’re considering these types of names, take into account how the name will be received when you expand outside of your area. Should the designer or brand ambassador defect to the competitor, will the brand be able to survive the changes? Once you have a list of many possible names, you’ll want to pare it down to the top 10. Review the names in the face of future expansion, market changes, brand extensions, and the test of time. This evaluation process could drop off several more names. With the top names remaining, you’re ready to do a dry run. Engage a graphic designer and create mock-up designs with your short list. You’ll want to experiment with fonts and colours that match the brand’s personality. If your product will be in a retail shop, you’ll want to consider the packaging and how it will stand-out relative to the competition on the shelf. Once you have settled on the winner, launch the brand name and use it consistently across all customer touch points. Monitor and continue to conduct ongoing research to ensure your brand name is well-received. Pacharee Pantoomano-Pfirsch is a Marketing Consultant at Brand Now, a boutique marketing and PR agency. When she’s not busy trying on new names for herself, she enjoys brainstorming with the team to create brand names for clients. She can be reached at pacharee@brandnow.asia.


Expat Recognising the foreign community’s contribution to the Thai economy FOR the first time, companies established in Thailand by the country’s expatriate community will be recognized for their creativity, ingenuity, excellence and proven success in The Expat Entrepreneur Awards of the Year 2014.   Supported by The BigChilli magazine in conjunction with BNOW, Bangkok’s networking community group, the Expat Entrepreneur Awards 2014 will highlight the contribution foreign-owned companies make to Thailand’s economy.   Awards will be presented in a variety of categories to recognize the amazing diversity of these enterprises.   If you are an expatriate entrepreneur with a business story worth telling, or you know someone whose company deserves recognition, please let us know.

Send your submissions to: thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com

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ing t a r b Cebleusineesns ce l excel

Entrepreneur Awards 2014 The categories include:

  • Arts & culture • Agriculture • Charities & Foundations • Construction & design • Corporate training • Education • Entertainment (music, performance) • F&B (catering, restaurants) • Finance • Health, wellness, & spa • Hospitality

• Manufacturing • Retail (fashion, accessories) • Sports and fitness • Tech & IT • Others (TBA)  Expat Entrepreneur Awards 2014 Recognizing your contribution to Thailand’s economy.

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Expat

Insight

Business|Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur Awards 2014

Recent nominations Sloane’s

Lion’s Head Boxing

Joe Sloane Managing Director

Jay-R Crisologo Founder

■ JOE was born in the UK and studied catering at his local culinary school before following his love of travel and food to work across three continents. With a background of traditional French cuisine, he spent over a decade in Michelin starred restaurants and five-star hotels before following his passion of butchery and charcuterie and setting up Sloane’s. His wealth of experience, detail-oriented butchery techniques, and passion about quality produce (including sourcing the best locally reared pigs), ensure Joe’s delicacies are uniquely delicious and a big hit with customers looking for superior meat products. www.sloanes.co.th

■ CALIFORNIAN

Photo by nicS

WearYouWant.com Martin Toft Sørensen Managing Director/Partner

■ ONE of the leading marketplaces for Fashion & Beauty in Bangkok, WearYouWant works with almost 500 boutiques bringing the people of Thailand more than 400 different brands to their doorstep. Martin explains: “Personally, I am very much involved in sourcing and business development in order to make sure we have what is requested from our online audience and to grow the brand awareness of WearYouWant. Recently we have engaged in partnerships with large players on the market, including LINE, Samsung and Sanook, amongst others. These partnerships serve both as trust-builders and also as direct conversion on the site. The trend and behaviour of online shoppers in SEA is very interesting, and we’re aiming at regional expansion during 2014.” www.WearYouWant.com

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expat Jay-R, known by his clients as ‘Coach J,’ first came to Thailand 14 years ago in search for a better life after college. Taking on English teaching and telecommunications jobs, he got a foothold in the Kingdom but wasn’t really happy with his working life – he wanted to do something he was truly passionate about. Fast forward to 2009 and Coach J took his love for pugilism and, with an initial B1,400 investment to buy focus pads, set up Lion’s Head Boxing, a personal training service for anyone wanting to learn what he calls “the sweet science.” Working hard, he earned his World Boxing Council (WBC) certification and today, aged 32, he has 32 private clients and also works in partnership with The Lab, taking care of its boxing business. “I work with hotel owners, big business people, celebrities, university kids, and I even train trainers,” he says. “The demographic just keeps growing and growing.” The next step for the entrepreneur? “To open my own gym on Ramkamheng 18, which should be ready by the middle of the year.” www.facebook.com/lionsheadbkk


Insight

Business|Entrepreneurs Yorkies Pork Platter Eileen Denning Managing Director

■ YORKIES Pork Platter – company motto: ‘Pleased to meet you, with meat to please you’ – was established in Pattaya in 1999 by Norman and Eileen Denning, both experienced butchers from the UK. The company is known for producing high quality English sausages, dry cured bacon, gammon, pies and pasties, which are available wholesale and retail from its location in Jomtien, as well as in most Villa markets and various outlets throughout Thailand. Sadly, Norman passed away in 2011 after suffering a massive heart attack. Despite the emotional upheaval, though, Eileen has managed to achieve the couple’s dream of building a successful wholesale business in Thailand – in November last year, after months of hard work, preparation and dedication of Yorkies’ long-standing staff, the company received FDA licences for 27 products. “We were immediately asked to supply Central Festival Pattaya, and quickly added other big outlets to the list,” says Eileen. “Although Norman is no longer here, I still feel he is guiding me, and still very much part of the team. I am sure he is looking down on us all, and as proud of Yorkies as I am.” www.yorkies-pattaya.com

Carr y On Bags Linda O’Connor Jennings Managing Director

■ SOME entrepreneurs believe that passion is the most important ingredient in building a successful business. But there’s another, equally vital, element that goes into establishing a winning trade – a keen eye for inspiration. American expat Linda O’Connor Jennings is certainly evidence of this. She first spotted the inspiration for her business around 30 years ago when travelling to the culturally-rich province of Chiang Rai. And, although it’s taken almost three decades to get her resulting business, called Carry On, off the ground, her eco-friendly and unique handbags have been definitely worth the wait. Linda’s product range includes bags to suit every occasion, as well as everything from luggage tags and wine insulated bags to jewelry and yoga mat holders – all made from recycled rice bags. Products range in price from B120 for a luggage tag up to B1,600 for a handbag with tribal handles. www.carryonltd.etsy.com

Ninive Games Fabian Weiner Managing Director

■ IN a world obsessed with all things digital – iPads, laptops, smartphones and the like – it’s no surprise that many people think the traditional board game is dead. But pay a visit to the Ninive Games store in Phra Khanong and you’ll find plenty of evidence to the contrary. Established in 2012 by German expat Fabian Weiner, Ninive Games imports a Thai version of the popular German board game ‘The Settlers of Catan,’ which it sells to retailers around the nation. The game is also available to buy (B1,750 in English; B1,600 in Thai), and play for free, at the Ninive Games store. “The idea is to make this a place where expats and Thais who enjoy board games can hang out and make new friends,” says Fabian, who, prior to establishing his business, was a lecturer at a Thai university. “Alongside Catan, we have a decent selection of other games for people to play, including classics like Diplomacy and Carcassone, 7 Wonders, Tikal.” Adding to the store’s appeal is a wood-fired pizza oven, which churns out cooked-to-order pizzas ranging in price from B250-B350. All board games are free to play. www.ninivegames.com www.facebook.com/ninivegamestore

If you are an expatriate entrepreneur with a business stor y worth telling, or you know someone whose company deser ves recognition, please let us know at thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com

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Experience Italian cuisine at its best Enjoy exquisite dishes cooked with care and presented with flair by Chef Stefano Merlo- a two-times champion of Iron Chef Thailand! Authentic flavours guaranteed Top quality imported ingredients bring the real taste of Italy to Bangkok Superb atmosphere Our wonderfully renovated house has a real homely ambience

39 Sukhumvit soi 27 north klongtoey Bangkok 10110 Tel: 02 258 4386

Email: enotecabangkok@gmail.com www.enotecabangkok.com


Insight

Business|Aston Martin

Aston Martin Bangkok: From the UK with love By Maxmilian Wechsler

■ FAMOUS as the preferred wheels of super spy James Bond in nine movies, Aston Martin sports cars epitomize the British genius for engineering and luxury motoring. They have it all: the looks, design and technology that other brands can only marvel at. And the good news for Thailand’s Aston Martin enthusiasts is that since last November there is an authorized dealer in Bangkok.   The dealership is managed by Heritage Motor Sales & Services (Thailand), a subsidiary of the Master Group Corporation (Asia). It is the first official Aston Martin dealership in the kingdom and is affiliated with Aston Martin Lagonda UK.   Mr Suttipong Wannawanit, general manager of Aston Martin Bangkok, says the difference between Aston Martin

Daniel Craig, the latest James Bond, poses with the classic Aston Martin DB5

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and other supercars lies partly in their functionality: “You can drive all models of Aston Martin on a daily basis.   “Based on the demand in recent years for Aston Martins, we realized it was the appropriate time to open an official Aston Martin dealership with the resources and capabilities to provide genuine service.”   Aston Martin Bangkok has two showrooms: The 3S (Sales, Service and Spare parts) state-of-the-art showroom is at 999 Rama 3 Road, and the Siam Paragon houses a luxury showroom on the 2nd floor.       “The response from the buyers in Thailand has been quite positive – orders so far are in double digits,” said Mr Suttipong.    Aston Martin Bangkok certainly

hasn’t scrimped on setting up shop here, investing 200 million baht for inventory and 100 million baht for furniture imported from Italy, in addition to special tools and equipment complying with Aston Martin’s strict specifications.   Asked about the grey market in imported luxury cars, which allows buyers to avoid the very high excise taxes in Thailand, Mr Suttipong responded: “We don’t really worry about that because we offer quality services that the grey marketers can’t match. Our team of technicians and the head of the after-sales team have been trained with Aston Martin in the UK. “Owners of Aston Martin who purchased their car before November 14, 2013 will be entitled to service and repair with us with our “Localization Welcome


The Aston Martin Bangkok showroom on Rama 3 Road

Package”, which costs 250,000 baht. “But we won’t service any Aston Martin purchased from any other dealer after November 14. No one else has the special tools that we do,” Mr Suttipong added.   Aston Martin Bangkok’s lineup includes its flagship 574 PS Vanquish, also known around the world as the ultimate Grand Tourer; the Rapide S, considered by many to be the world’s most beautiful 4-door sports car; the DB9, a timeless sports GT designed for elegance and balance; and the Vantage, the embodiment of a true sports car.

Mr Suttipong Wannawanit, general manager of Aston Martin Bangkok

The price range for variants of the four models in Thailand starts at 13.5 million baht for the V8 Vantage Coupe and tops at 25.5 million baht for the Vanquish Volante.   “Right now we have ten cars in stock which we can sell immediately, and more are coming in the near future. People can place a special order for whatever features they desire, with a wait of five months minimum for delivery. We will also do trade-ins. And we can arrange financing for our customers,” Mr Sutthipong said.

The price range in Thailand starts at 13.5 million baht for the V8 Vantage Coupe and tops at 25.5 million baht for the Vanquish Volante.

The new Aston Martin DB9

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Gourmet p Wine and restaurant news

The Samui Fine Dining Festival returns this month with gourmet menus on offer at the island's most popular restaurants. Page 28.

What’s Cooking A round up of this month’s best gourmet deals. Yummy! Page 26

Meet the chef Ramada Khaolak Resort's Executive Chef shares his secrets Page 34

Dining out

Our favourite restaurants reviewed and listed Page 44 TheBigChilli

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Gourmet

Dining|News

What’s Cooking

Bangkok’s hottest dining deals and news Afternoon Tea, Diplomat style

87/3 Wireless Rd. ☎ 02 690 9244

International | Available now | : conradhotels.com WANT to enjoy a spot of afternoon tea? Venture to the elegant Diplomat Bar at the Conrad Bangkok and you’ll find two new Afternoon High Tea sets to choose from. The Bangkok set keeps things local with a tasty selection of nibbles like Mee Krob with shrimp, Tom yam goong muffin, and Pandan flavoured scones; while the London set includes Smoked duck and pumpkin muffin, Roast beef and horseradish cream canapé, British short bread, and more UK-inspired goodies. Both sets include signature Tea Tearapy teas. B498 per person, or B920 for two.

Afternoon delight

189 Sukhumvit Rd. ☎ 02 126 9999

International | Available now | : sofitel-sukhumvit.com EXQUISITE French pastries and delicious desserts are just two of the highlights at Le Macaron, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit’s gourmet café, which is now offering a new daily Classic Afternoon Tea set for B950, and a decadent Champagne Afternoon Tea set for B1,600. Both sets are served 2pm-5pm.

A taste of Chile

2 Captain Bush Lane ☎ 02 266 9214

International | March 21 | : royalorchidsheraton.com AS an extension of its global signature wine program, Sheraton Social Hour, the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers now offers a wine and cheese event held the third Friday of each month. Held at Sambal Bar & Grill, this month’s event will feature a selection of gourmet cheeses paired with free-flow Chilean Wines such as Sol De Chile Cabernet Sauvignon and Sol De Chile Chardonnay. B599++ per person. 6.30pm-8.30pm. Free shuttle boat service from Saphan Taksin BTS.

A taste of Ireland

Sukhumvit Soi 15 ☎ 02 309 3201

Spa and lunch

Sukhumvit Soi 22 ☎ 02 261 9300

International | Mar 10-17 | : facebook.com/beervault

International | Until May 31 | : imperialhotels.com

ST Patrick’s Day celebrations will start a whole week early at the popular BeerVault (Four Points By Sheraton Bangkok, Sukhumvit 15), which will offer seven nights of fun games and activities, drinks deals, performances by Lee Shamrock, and a chance to win over B100,000 worth of prizes from Paddy The Lucky Leprechaun. A special menu will also be on offer featuring Guinness pie, Magners stew, Irish breakfast, Guinness cake, and Dublin coddle.

HOW about this for sheer indulgence: a unique treatment at Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel’s Imperial Spa combined with your choice of a sumptuous international buffet lunch at Parkview Restaurant(11.30am-2pm), High Tea at the Lobby Lounge (2pm7pm), or healthy snacks by the pool (2pm-6pm). The deal is B1,400 per person for a one-hour Aroma oil massage, or B2,000 per person for a one-hour Imperial Jurlique Facial.

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Gourmet

Dining|News

Samui Fine Dining Festival

See the Festival's website for a full round up of menus

International | Until March 31 | : samuifinediningfestival.com KOH Samui will turn into a foodie paradise this month as the fourth annual Samui Fine Dining Festival will see a selection of the island’s most popular restaurants each offer a special five-course Fine Dining Champagne Dinner. Available daily throughout the month, the menus are priced B7,500 for two people and include a bottle of Champagne Lombard. Festival restaurants include Amber (InterContinental), Beach Republic, Dining on the Rocks (Six Senses), Full Moon (Anantara Bophut), Kan Sak Thong (Melati Resort), Le Jaroen (The Scent Hotel), Ochos (Akaryn Resort), Orgasmic, Rockpool, Saffron (Banyan Tree), Sala Samui, Tawann (Renaissance Resort), and Tree Tops (Anantara Lawana Resort).

Wines of the French Mediterranean

61 Wireless Rd. ☎ 02 650 8800

French | April 3 | : plazaatheneebangkok.com THE acclaimed Cave de Vignerons Le Cellier du Pic wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon in southern France will be uncorked in an exclusive tasting event at Plaza Athénée Bangkok, a Royal Méridien’s Glaz Bar, followed by a three-course wine dinner at Reflexions restaurant (two choices per course, each directly inspired by the wines). B2,100 per person (includes a bottle of wine per two paying guests).

New menu at Blue Sky

1695 Phaholyothin Rd. ☎ 02 541 1234

French | Available now | : centarahotelsresorts.com

Square Soi 6 Family Sunday Brunch Siam ☎ 02 209 8888

International | Available now | : novotelbkk.com THE Square Restaurant at Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square is now offering its all-you-can-eat Sunday Brunch for a wallet-friendly B950 Baht++ per adult (half price for kids aged 12-16, and free for kids under 12 when accompanied by two paying adults). The sumptuous spread includes salads, sushi, sashimi and imported cold cuts, grilled meats, fresh seafood, international dishes, regional favourites, desserts, and more.

Whiskey and Steak

981 Silom Rd. ☎ 02 238 4300

American | Until Mar 31 | : holidayinn.com MEAT and malt whiskeys are the order of the day this month at Hari’s Bar, Holiday Inn Bangkok Silom, where a Whiskey and Steak Set Menu is available for B1,250 per set. Choose from sirloin steak, honey glazed pork chops, or T-bone steak, and you can then pair it with a premium malt or a Scotch. Every Friday night, a beer buffet with complimentary tapas is available from 7pm-9.30pm at B399 per person.

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CENTARA Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok’s rooftop restaurant, Blue Sky, has introduced a new dinner menu featuring over thirty new dishes of French bistro-style cuisine. Carefully crafted by Executive Chef Eric Berrigaud, who says he spent four months perfecting his recipes, the menu features highlights such as Cromesquis scallops at B450++ (croquettes of minced scallop meat with a black ink bread crust, thinly shredded vegetables and garlic mayonnaise); Smoked and fresh salmon rillete priced at B250++ (fine paté of minced salmon with warm crunchy bread, capers and lemon); and Griddled 200 gram Charolais French beef tenderloin at B1,100++ (accompanied by ratatouille, French fries, green pepper corn sauce or herb butter). Available daily, 6pm-2am.


Gourmet

Pics|Events

Gourmet scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus

Black Magic Romance at Ku Dé Ta

KU Dé Ta Bangkok celebrated Valentine’s Day in delicious fashion with an exclusive Champagne dinner entitled ‘The Black Magic Romance.’ Hosted by the management of Moët & Chandon, the event featured a three-course modern Asian dinner and a Champagne cocktail workshop presented by celebrity couples Top-Nattaset and Pam-Orn-arpa Poonsapmanee, Ae-Sasikarn Apichartworasilp and Dominic Vincent Leong, and Kasidit and Karnchanita Kolasastraseni.

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"For A Healthy Life Style"

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Gourmet

Pics|Events

Boathouse By Montara turns 25

A NIGHT of gourmet food and fine wines was enjoyed by a large crowd of well-wishers when Boathouse by Montara in Phuket celebrated its 25th anniversary. Recently rebranded and rejuvenated under the new owner Mr. Narong Pattamasaevi, Chairman of Montara Hospitality Group, the award-winning resort consists of Boathouse resort, Boathouse Wine & Grill, and RE KÁ TA Beach Club. Room rates can be found at boathousephuket.com.

Italian and French tastes at Vespa

THE Thai – Italian Chamber of Commerce (TICC) and Franco Thai Chamber of Commerce (FTCC) joined forces to host a Valentine’s Day networking night at the Vespa Flagship Store, Sukhumvit 26. Over 120 guests enjoyed a mouth-watering traditional Aperitivo Italiano, offered by Aroy Italy and Savino Del Bene, together with French bread and biscuits by Maison Jean Philippe, wine by Italasia, and Italian sparkling fruit beverages and water by San Pellegrino. Making its first appearance in Bangkok, much to the delight of guests, was Bacio Perugina Italian chocolate.

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Gourmet

ddd

Chef in focus|Prapas Kabsuk

SERVING UP Prapas Kabsuk

What is your all-time favourite restaurant? Madison Restaurant at the Four Seasons in Bangkok

Ramada Khaolak Resort’s Executive Chef lifts the lid on his culinary secrets Favourite cuisines to cook? European and Thai cuisines

Biggest culinary myth? It’s best to flip a steak just once when grilling it

Do you have a cooking philosophy? To always cook with passion Are you a traditionalist or modernist in the kitchen? I take traditional dishes and present them in different and new ways. However, the original flavours always remain intact

What do you like most about being a chef? Constantly learning new techniques and cooking methods, and exploring new fusion cuisines

Favourite cookbook? Gordon Ramsay’s Chef ’s Secrets. He is my favourite chef

Your signature dish? Thai style Salmon Tartare

Most influential chef? Gordon Ramsay, because he is straight talking and open to new styles of cooking

Your favourite ingredient? Lemongrass, for its unique fragrance and versatility

☎ +66 (0)32 909 900 :bit.ly/1muAJbq

The best thing you ate in 2013? Wagyu beef steak. The beef was butter-soft and melted in my mouth

Chef Philippe in focus ■ CHEF Prapas Kabsuk is Executive Chef of Ramada Khaolak Resort, Phang Nga. Since kick-starting his culinary career in 1995 at the Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket, he has built up an impressive CV that includes stints at popular hotels such as Burasari Resort Patong in Phuket, and Pullman Pattaya Aisawan, as well as international properties like the Sonaisali Island Resort in Fiji. Prior to taking on his current role in December 2012, he was the Executive Chef of Dar Restaurant in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Ramada Khaolak Resort, 59 Moo 5, Tambon Kukak, Phang Nga.

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☎ 076 427 777 :ramadakhaolak.com


Dining|Recipe

Recipe of the month Black Cod Teriyaki Enjoy a Japanese treat at home with this easy to follow recipe from Jérôme Chautard, Chef de Cuisine of Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas Ingredients (Serves 4) • 720g (4 pieces) Gindara fish/Black cod • 40ml cooking oil • 320g (16 pieces) snow peas • 200g rice • 30g garlic • 200g teriyaki sauce (See below) For teriyaki sauce (200g) • 100cl soy sauce • 100cl sugar • 3cl mirin (Japanese rice wine) • 2cl hondashi (Japanese dried fish) • 2g dried bonito flakes • 1 (small) organic carrot (finely chopped) • 1 (small) organic white onion (finely chopped)

Method For teriyaki sauce 1. Apart from the dried bonito flakes, put all the teriyaki sauce ingredients in a pan

2. Heat until the sauce is reduced and thickens (about ¼ of the volume) 3. Finish the sauce with the dried bonito flakes Preparation 1. Steam the rice until soft before putting it aside 2. Add cooking oil to a hot pan and pan fry the fish fillet on both sides until it turns a nice golden colour

3. Finish cooking the fish fillet in the oven at 120 degrees for five minutes Presentation 1. Sauté the snow peas with the garlic 2. Coat the fish evenly with the teriyaki sauce 3. Serve the teriyaki fish fillet on a bed of steamed rice and decorate the dish with sautéed snow peas (and tempura Thai parsley, if you wish). Enjoy!

About the chef

rd Chef Jérôme Chauta 36

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PASSIONATE about food from an early age, French chef Jérôme Chautard says eating out is one of the greatest pleasures in life; and he’s even happier when he’s the one doing the cooking. Well-honed in numerous global cuisines, the affable chef makes his dishes using the freshest and best local ingredients, and says he always strives for the perfect balance of flavours. You can try his dishes for yourself at Dalah restaurant, Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas. Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas, 9/22 Moo 5 Paknampran, Amphur Pranburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan. +66 (0)32 909 900 :bit.ly/1muAJbq

cut out and keep

Gourmet


Review|Il Bolognese

Gourmet

Review

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Il Bolognese

What’s in a name? Quite a lot, it turns out, at this charming trattoria and pizzeria on Sathorn Soi 7

INSPIRED by laid-back eateries typical to Bologna, the largest city of the EmiliaRomagna Region in northern Italy, Il Bolognese embodies its moniker by serving up the kind of simple, rustic dishes for which the city is famed. Think pizza, pasta, salad, and generous servings of meat and seafood – all made using top quality ingredients, most of which are imported from Italy. “We want to offer a truly authentic dining experience,” says the restaurant’s affable manager, Andrea Bernadi, who hails from a town not too far from Bologna. “Like the best restaurants in Italy, we don’t mess with our food. There’s no fusion or contemporary creations here. We just offer high quality dishes designed to be enjoyed and shared, and so tasty that people want to come back for more.” Passionate about pizzas, Andrea presents diners with two different pizza

menus: a standard menu featuring classic options such as Margherita (B240++) and Vegetariana (B350++); and a special menu, ‘Pizza Di Andrea,’ which features pizzas made with artisanal dough (a blend of three Italian flours) slow-matured for up to 72 hours. Andrea’s gourmet pizzas are topped with imported buffalo mozzarella and premium Italian ingredients, and their high-quality shines through in every tasty bite – especially in flavour-packed pies like the Speck Gorgonzola Noci Miele (B590++), whose mozzarella, blue cheese, smoked cold cuts, and walnuts topping is also smeared with honey to delicious effect. All pizzas are cooked to order in a wood-fired oven. Tasty as the pizzas are, we suggest you order to share. This then gives you room to try something from the restaurant’s a la carte menu, which is loaded with

Sathorn Soi 7. Open daily 11.30am-2.30pm; 5.30pm-11pm.

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highlights such as Salsiccia e Zafferano (Risotto with Italian sausage and saffron. B390++), Coteletta Di Vitello Impanata (Imported Italian veal cutlet pan fried “alla Milanese.” B750++), and Salmone Alla Griglia (Grilled salmon with caper cream sauce. B520++). You can also select from a special menu featuring dishes made with seasonal ingredients, and, if you visit at lunchtime, a selection of set menus which range in price from B290++ to B490++. Set inside a renovated house decorated with terracotta tiles, mahogany furniture, and an earthy colour scheme of maroons, creams and greens, Il Bolognese is cozy, homely and comfortable. Factor in friendly efficient service and a buzzing atmosphere (especially at lunch), and it’s a great place to while away a few hours with friends. Seating is also available in the garden.

☎ 02 286 8805 :ilbolognesebangkok.com


Gourmet

Review|diVino

Review

I

diVino

Restaurant’s new lunch menu offers great value for money

ITALIAN wine bars in Bangkok don’t get much more authentic than diVino on Soi Thonglor. Split between three small rooms in the corner of Penny’s Balcony community mall, this cozy venue pleases foodies and oenophiles alike with a wide selection of culinary and liquid comforts from that much-loved boot-shaped land. Italian character is stamped on the premises thanks to the hard work of owner and chef Roberto Ferin, a gregarious host who’s famous in Bangkok for his time spent at some of the city’s most popular Italian restaurants (in his 15 plus years living in the Kingdom, he has managed venues such as La Villa and L’Opera Riserva), and he’s often on hand to guide patrons through his wine list – over 300 labels, mostly Italian – as well as his no-nonsense food menu: a selection of cheeses, cold cuts, salads, meats, pasta dishes and desserts, including an amazing

Tiramisu, all prepared fresh daily. While diVino is well-known for its selection of mostly exclusive wines, which range in price from B700 to B25,000 per bottle, the restaurant looks set to gain another reputation – this one for offering great-value Italian lunches. Just last month diVino introduced a two-course set lunch menu which offers a choice of either one appetizer and one pasta dish (or one pizza) for B380++, or one appetizer and one main course for B580++ (both options include a mini dessert, and hot coffee or tea). Light, healthy and tasty to boot, the appetizer selection includes popular choices such as Tomato and mozzarella salad and Tuna salad with feta cheese. The pasta range focuses on classics like Penne Arrabiata with sausages and Spaghetti carbonara, while the mains selection features highlights such as Sea bass fillet

Penny’s Balcony, Thong Lor 16. Open daily 11.30am-2pm; 5.30pm-12am

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and Roasted lamb loin (all mains are served with veggies and potatoes of the day). If you’re a pizza fan, you’re in for a real treat here. Roberto’s Special Pizza, which is topped with mozzarella, blue cheese, spinach, and fried egg is not to be missed. The crust is wonderfully crispy, and the ingredients atop so tasty that you're bound to reach for another slice, no matter how full you are. Another good choice for lunch is the Pizza diVino with meatballs. Alongside the new lunch menu, diVino also offers a ‘Drinks of the Day’ menu featuring selected wines at just B150++ per glass, and beers at B120++. Don’t worry if you can’t make it for lunch, though, because diVino also offers a carefully considered a la carte dinner menu, and, whatever time you choose to visit, you’re sure to enjoy an authentic and homely experience.

☎02 714 8723 :marketing@divinobkk.com :divinobkk.com


Gourmet

Dining|BB&B

Time for Reflexions Bangkok Beefsteak & Burgundy tucks into splendid French fare at the flagship restaurant of the Plaza Athénée Bangkok, A Royal Méridien Hotel

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UR lunch at Reflexions took place against the backdrop of the ongoing protests; several members took evasive action by finding new routes across town but the attendance of 19 did not suffer and proved our doughty gourmands are made of strong stuff. The menu at first sight promised good things and we were not to be disappointed. The Amuse Bouche was preceded by glasses of Bisol Jeio Rosé Sparkling Prosecco (Italy) that the importer describes as ‘A rosé with a bubbly personality’ and was enjoyed. The Amuse Bouche itself was a carnival of tastes and colours, and our food spokesman, Dick van den Heuvel, was full of praise for Chef Daniel Bucher’s dish.

The first full course was Langoustine refreshed by cold textures of tomato, papaya and egg, again commended by Dick. The wine chosen to accompany this, Ventisquero Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2012 (Chile), was equally refreshing though our wine spokesman for the first time, Alan Rankin, did not share that opinion of the majority. There followed Mallard Duck, slowly warmed, salsify and apple. At the remote end of the table, we thought the plates should have been warmer but those near the kitchen end declared their satisfaction with all aspects of the dish. The wild duck was very tender and flavoursome. The accompanying CJ Pask Declaration Cabernet-Merlot-Malbec

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2004 (Hawke’s Bay, NZ) pleased most thanks to its great nose. Beef Brisket, smoked and fermented, with pasta, mushroom and black garlic was enthusiastically received by our guests. Chef Daniel explained the tortuous three-day-long path he had

followed to produce a dish of first-class quality. The Colonial Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Barossa Valley, SA), however, earned mixed reviews and again Alan did not find the wine up to his expectations. I also was disappointed by the wine, which especially lacked length.

Roquefort Croquette, with kataifi pastry and fig chutney came next. Again, some thought the dish should have been served hotter but the flavours were pleasing. There was almost universal disapproval of Toi Toi Marlborough Pinot Gris (NZ), the last wine of the day. Concluding a very enjoyable meal notwithstanding adverse comments for the wine, we found a delicious Light Pistachio Coupe, pistachio espuma, vanilla milk custard, berries and raspberry sorbet served in very cold dishes. To celebrate the Lunar New Year and David Dean’s upcoming birthday, this came with Calvados. Thomas found a suitable receptacle for our customary staff collection and took pleasure in thanking on our behalf the serving team for their efforts. Plaza Athénée Hotel Bangkok, A Royal Méridien Hotel, 61 Wireless Road (Witthayu) Tel: 02 650 8800 www.plazaatheneebangkok.com


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Gourmet

Where to eat Recommended restaurants and bars

Italian cuisine

Pomodoro (Soi 11)

Pomodoro needs little introduction since it’s been around in various Bangkok locations since the mid-1990s. So fans of this perennially popular Italian restaurant chain will know exactly what to expect from its Sukhumvit Soi 11 outlet – a comprehensive menu of Italian cuisine with Sardinian influences, plus a choice of over 20 pizzas. Highlights include Red tuna tart Catalana and exotic Gratin cauliflower, porcini, black truffle and parmesan cheese; Spicy seafood soup at B350; pizza Super Mario at B340; and Slow cooked lamb shank and mashed potato (B560). Italian wines are available by the glass for under B200.

Sukhumvit Soi 11 02 651 1327 : pomodorogroup.co.th

Bella Napoli

Bangkok’s archetypal pizza parlour has been serving authentic Neapolitan-style pizza to Bangkokians for several years. Italian owned and operated, it

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Jojo

Keeping things simple with a real focus on taste, Jojo serves authentic Italian cuisine at its finest.The chefs use exclusive ingredients sourced from small Italian farms and put a real emphasis on rich naked flavours – simple, earthy tastes inspired by the slow-food movement. The Angus beef Carpaccio Cipriani Style is a real treat, as is the Carbonara Tradizionale with egg yolk, parmesan and crispy pork bacon. As for cheese, the Burrata, a delightful buttery soft cheese made from mozzarella and cream, is sublime. Jojo also boasts an extensive wine list, excellent service, and a choice of dining indoors or out.

French cuisine

Le Vendome

The quality of Bangkok’s French restaurants has improved immensely in recent years and Le Vendome is one of the big reasons. The pleasant setting includes a garden, and private rooms for special functions. If you are looking for signal French food served with élan and presented with pizzazz, this is where you’ll find it. Although relatively expensive in the evening, the set lunches are a fantastic bargain at around B500. Try them once, and you’ll be back in the evening for the Full Monty. Sukhumvit Soi 31, just past the Soi Sawasdee junction (BTS Phrom Phong – but it’s a hefty walk), 02 662 0530

St. Regis Bangkok, Level 1, 159 Rajadamri Road. Open daily 6am02 207 7815 11am : stregis.com

possesses a wood-fired oven and a pizza menu that includes all of the classics plus a few items unique to the restaurant. The pasta is homemade and certainly acceptable, but it is the pizza most people come for. Always busy, but reservations aren’t taken so be prepared to wait if you come on a weekend. The house wines represent excellent value for money. Sukhumvit Soi 31, (BTS Phrom 02 259 0405 Phong)

Aubergine

Serving a selection of French inspired dishes from the stunningly converted residence that formerly housed Le Bistingo, Aubergine is an attractive option on the local dining scene. Proprietor

Lyon

This French restaurant keeps chugging along, fuelled by a group of regulars who continue returning to its homely comforts. Although a portion of the menu changes regularly, several signature dishes have remained for years. Favourites with many customers include rabbit in white wine sauce, and mushrooms and frog legs sautéed with garlic and dry sherry. There is a walk-in wine cabinet where you can select your wine. The restaurant is located in a converted house with parking out front. Soi Ruam Rudee, 250m from Ploenchit Rd, (BTS Ploenchit) 02 253 8141

Nunteera Cox, herself a trained chef, has a French chef with sterling credentials in the kitchen. Set lunches are only Baht 490 and include three courses and a glass of wine. Dining here in the evening is romantic, but relaxed and convivial. A large bar dominates the main room and is ideal for quaffing one of the numerous wines offered by the glass. Saladaeng Soi1/1, 50m Soi Saladaeng, (BTS Saladaeng 02 234 2226 or MRT Silom)


Thai cuisine

Japanese cuisine

Benihana

Benihana’s Teppanyaki tables always offer a fun-packed culinary show, with chefs performing magic tricks, juggling salt shakers, and even throwing ingredients into the air before catching them in their hats. The food’s just as impressive, and alongside the sizzling meats (set menus range from B455++ to B4,500++) you’ll find an extensive selection of handcrafted sushi, sashimi and other raw seafood delicacies such as lobster, crab and oysters. Don’t miss the Fireball (B350++), a spicy tuna tartar and avocado roll laced with Thai sriracha hot sauce, spicy mayo and shaved scallions. Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa, 257/1-3 Charoennakorn 02 476 0022 (compliRoad, mentary shuttle boat from Saphan Taksin Skytrain station every 20 minutes), Open daily 11.30am – 2.30pm, and 6pm – 10.30pm.

Yellow Tail Sushi Bar (YTSB)

If you’re looking for sushi and sashimi served in style, make a beeline for this New York-inspired restaurant at VIE Hotel Bangkok. The idea, according to the restaurant’s slogan, is to offer ‘Freshness in Style,’ a concept which applies both to the food – as fresh as it gets and presented with artistic flair – and to the restaurant’s design, which takes contemporary cool and gives it a Japanese spin. Menu highlights include traditional sushi and sashimi, as well as dishes which have their roots in European cuisine, such as Rossini Roll Sushi, which features Teriyaki foie gras and Kagoshima wagyu beef sirloin with white truffle miso sauce (B800++).

Baan Khanitha & Gallery

Baan Khanitha, an award-winning restaurant, has made its mark by rigorously insuring its food is consistently well-prepared. A wide variety of Thai dishes are offered, many reflecting the taste of owner Khanitha Akarnitkul, formerly a designer of women’s clothing. Classics are the Yam Som-O (spicy pomelo salad with shrimp and chicken) and Pla Krapong Phad Khee Mao (stir-fried sea bass with chili, hot basil, and eggplant). There is an art gallery on the site and ample parking. A sister restaurant can be found on Sukhumvit Soi 23. South Sathorn Road at Soi Suanplu 02 675 4200 (MRT Lumpini) : baan-khanittha.com

117/39-40 Phaya Thai Road. Open daily 6pm-11.30pm (opening for 02 309 3939 lunch soon) Facebook: viebangkok

Hagi

From its elegant traditional design to its extensive selection of sushi and sashimi made using fresh fish from Tokyo, Hagi has been delicately crafted from the floorboards up to offer a thoroughly authentic Japanese dining experience.

The regular a la carte menu offers over 50 authentic dishes, featuring highlights such as Blue fin tuna ‘Maguro’ sushi (B190 for two pieces), Sashimi Mori Awase (assorted local raw fish. B320), and Pork Yakinuku (fried thinly sliced pork loin with onions and Yakinuku sauce. B145). On weekends and holidays, the restaurant offers an all-you-can-eat a la carte buffet for just B705 per person.

Basil

This restaurant has a modern interior, but the décor is still unmistakably Thai. There are several private rooms, making it good for a business lunch or small private function. The menu is extensive, but emphasizes light and fresh items that are easy to eat. The menu indicates the level of

Blue Elephant Restaurant & Cooking School

This is the flagship of an international chain of Thai restaurants started in Belgium. It is located in the century-old and beautifully restored Thai/ Chinese Chamber of Commerce Building. There are set menus, a la carte items, and vegetarian selections. You can begin upstairs with a cocktail in the stunning Blue Bar and then go down to the traditionally decorated dining room. The cutlery and plates are beautiful Thai renditions, and the food is always artfully presented. The wine menu is limited, but highlights quality Thai wines. South Sathorn, (adjacent to BTS 02 673 9353 Surasak) : blueelephant.com

spiciness of each dish. The impeccable service and pleasant surroundings make this one of the best places on Sukhumvit Road for Thai food. On Sundays, Basil and its neighbouring restaurants participate in the Sheraton’s renowned Jazz Brunch Buffet. Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Sukhumvit Soi 12 (BTS Asoke or MRT Sukhumvit) 02 649 8366

Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok. Open daily 11.30am2.30pm and 6pm-10pm 02 541 1234 ext. 4081 : centarahotelsresorts.com/cglb

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Gourmet

International cuisine

Mulligan’s Restaurant & Bar Bangkok

An Irish gem in the heart of Sukhumvit Soi 11, Mulligan’s offers everything a punter could want from an expat pub experience – draught beers from a temperature controlled cold room; international sports broadcast in HD; and a kitchen churning out hearty portions of international pub grub, with popular selections such as Fish and chips (B340), Honey marinated pork fillets (B375), and Grilled beef tenderloin (B580). 22/22 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (short walk from Nana BTS) 02 255 5025 :mulliganpubs.com

Bistro M

The good ‘ol fashioned Bistro concept is given a modern twist at Bistro M. The venue is irresistibly inviting: A sun-drenched terrace boasts seating for up to 40; outdoor chalkboards are crammed with daily specials; and a chic, modern interior, blends whites, reds and creams to create a bright, modern feel. The menu offers a range of mouthwatering dishes from Thailand, India, Italy, France and more, all set at reasonable prices. Pizzas from the wood-fired oven score particularly good marks, and start from just 185 baht. Marriott Executive Apartments Sukhumvit Park – Bangkok, 90 Sukhumvit Soi 24 (BTS Phrom 02 302 5555 Phong)

Senor Pico’s

Senor Pico’s includes a comprehensive menu of Mexican items. Tacos, enchiladas, burritos and all those other goodies some of us love are found on the menu. The atmosphere here is convivial, and drinking margaritas, having a good time, and dancing to the live Latin music is as much a part of the experience as eating. Rembrandt Hotel, Sukhumvit Soi 18 (BTS Asoke or MRT Sukhumvit) 02 261 7100

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Zaks Wine Pub

Seen from the outside, Zaks Wine Pub looks like it ought to be expensive. The setting inside a renovated house is striking, and the modern design, spied through the windows and illuminated with warm subdued lighting, looks just as good as any other classy wine bar in Bangkok. But there’s one big difference here – the price. There’s something for every budget,

Bei Otto

This popular place features German eats, a ‘European restaurant,’ a German delicatessen and a clientele that usually converses in German. Open all day, many people simply drop-in to enjoy an imported German beer and a snack. Others try the numerous German dishes, including Bangkok’s best German sausages. The baked goods, including dark breads, are also excellent. Although the main restaurant serves a variety of European dishes, the German items are definitely the best. Sukhumvit Soi 20 (BTS Asoke or 02 260 0869 MRT Sukhumvit) : beiotto.com

Moments Restaurant

Salads, pasta dishes, grilled meats, and much more are on offer as part of Moments Restaurant’s ‘Exquisite Buffet Lunch.’ Served daily 11.30am2.30pm, the buffet offers a wide range of local and international gourmet dishes at just B449 per person. If the buffet doesn’t take your fancy, you can choose from an extensive à la carte menu (available for lunch and dinner) featuring a range of Asian, Middle Eastern, and Western options. A carefully crafted wine list features many famous labels. A wide selection of innovative and classic cocktails are also available. AETAS Bangkok, 49 Soi Ruamrudee, 02 618 9000 Phloenchit Road : aetashotels.com

taste, and occasion, with prices ranging from only B100 for a glass of House Wine, up to B4,300 for a bottle of Telegramme (France) Chateauneuf Du Pape – a steal in Bangkok for a wine of this quality. Tapas selections, thin crust pizzas, gourmet burgers, and innovative cocktails round out the offerings. Sukhumvit Soi 11. Open daily 02 651 0214 6pm-1am


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Dining|Lunch Deals

Dining Special

Bangkok’s Best

Lunch Deals Thirty independent restaurants where great value is the order of the day

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Gianni Italian cuisine

Authentic Italian Set Lunch served Mon-Fri from 12pm-2pm. Two-courses at B390++, three-courses at B470++. 34/1 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 02 252 1619 www.giannibkk.com

Aldo’s Mediterranean Bistro and Bar

Zanotti Italian cuisine

Mediterranean cuisine

Lunch sets are available on weekdays from 11.30am-2pm. Two-courses at B350++ (a choice of appetizer and main, or main and dessert); Three-courses at B410++.

Daily Lunch@Aldo’s from 11.30am2.30pm. Two-courses at B350; Three-courses at B400++. Add B180 for a glass of house wine. Lunch menu changes every week.

Saladaeng Colonnade Condominium (1st Floor), 21/2 Soi Saladaeng. ☎ 02 636 0002 : zanottigroup.com

The Ascott Sathorn Bangkok (Level 6-7), 187 South Sathorn Rd. ☎ 02 676 6982 : aldosbistro.com

Izakaya Restaurant Japanese cuisine

Lunch sets range from B350++ for Kihon bento to B750++ for Zeitaku bento, available from 11am-3pm. Weekday lunch special continues at the weekend. KU DÉ TA, Sathorn Square Complex, 98 North Sathorn Road. ☎ 02 108 2000

Aubergine French cuisine

Three-course set lunch available daily from 11.30am-2pm at B890++ with a glass of beer or wine (also includes coffee or tea). Alternatively, opt for the three-course weekday lunch set which is B490++ with a cup of coffee or tea. 71/1 Sala Daeng Rd. ☎ 02 234 2226 : aubergine.in.th

Indigo

French cuisine Daily two-course set lunch at B380++ from 11.30am-3pm. 6 Convent Rd. ☎ 02 235 3268

Johann Bistro European cuisine

Set lunches available daily from 11.30am-2.30pm. Two-courses at B280++, and three-courses at B320++. No.88, Soi Paidi Madi (between Thonglor Soi 5 and 9) ☎ 02 712 5070 : facebook.com/JohannBistroBKK

Chesa Swiss cuisine

Weekdays Set Lunch from 11am-2.30pm. Set Lunch without dessert B390++; Set Lunch with dessert B450++. Menu changes every week. 5 Sukhumvit Soi 20. ☎ 02 261 6650 : chesa-swiss.com

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The Cup

Gourmet

Dining|Lunch Deals

International cuisine Three-course set lunch menu served every Mon-Sat from 11.30am5.30pm. B750. Includes coffee or tea. Lake Rajada Office Complex, 193/21-22 Rajadapisek Rd. ☎ 02 264 0247-50

Hard Rock Cafe International cuisine

Special Lunch Set served daily from 11.30am2pm. Includes one main course, a cup of ice-cream, and free flow soft drinks. B300. Popular mains include Fish ‘n’ chips, and Honey-mustard grilled chicken sandwich. Coffee Set featuring ice coffee and a mini hot fudge brownie at B150, available daily. Siam Square Soi 11. ☎ 02 251 0797 :hardrock.com/cafes/bangkok

Bawarchi Sathorn Indian cuisine

Set Lunch available daily from 11am-3pm. Three courses at B550++ (includes starter, main course, side dish, dessert, and Indian Masala tea). A vegetarian set lunch is B450++. 13 Sathorn Soi 1, Thung Mahamek. ☎ 02 677 6249

Roast

International cuisine

Sole Mio Restaurant Italian cuisine

Set lunches served Mon-Fri from 11.30am-2pm. Set A at B290++, and Set B at B390++ or B490++. 387/15-16 Soi Thonglor 21 ☎ 02 185 2199

Lunch set available Mon-Fri from 11am-2pm. Choose 1 entrée and one drink of your choice for B300++. Popular choices include Tuna melt sandwich, Smoked salmon guacamole open face sandwich, and Truffle alfredo with spaghetti. Each set comes with soup of the day and a house salad. Add B50 for a dessert SeenSpace Thonglor 13. ☎ 02 185 2865 :facebook.com/roastbkk

Water Library (Chamchuri Square) diVino Italian cuisine

Two set lunch menus available daily from 11.30am-2pm. Menu A at B380++ (one appetizer, one pasta or one pizza); Menu B at B590++ (one appetizer and one main course). Set menus include a mini dessert and hot coffee or tea. Read more about the restaurant on page 40. Penny’s Balcony, Thonglor Soi 16. ☎ 02 714 8723 :divinobkk.com

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International cuisine

Set lunches available daily from 11.30am-2pm. Two-courses at B890++ (starter-main), and three-courses at B950++ (starter-main-dessert). Includes Segafredo coffee and Water Library’s fine selection of teas. Chamchuri Square (Samyan MRT station), Rama 4 Rd. ☎ 02 160 5188-9 :waterlibrary.com/chamchuri


L’ulivo

The Pintsman

Italian cuisine

Thai and International cuisine

Business Lunch available every Mon-Fri from 12pm-2.30pm. One-course at B310; two-courses at B360; and three-courses at B430. Menu changes every Wednesday. Complimentary tea or coffee with the three-course option.

Three-course set lunches available Mon-Fri from 11am-3pm. International menu at B260++, and Thai Set Menu at B190++. United Center Building, 323 Silom Rd. ☎ 02 234 2874

43 Soi Naradhiwas 7, Thung Mahamek. ☎ 02 677 5756 :lulivobkk.com

Giusto

Rioja

Spanish cuisine Set lunches available Mon-Fri from 11am-2.30pm. Two-courses at B380++, three-courses at B420++. Price includes coffee or tea. 1025 Ploenchit Rd. ☎ 02 251 5761-2 :riojath.com

Italian cuisine

Set lunches served daily from 11.30pm-2pm. Two-courses at B420++; three-courses at B560++; and four-courses at B620++. Sets include tea or coffee. 16 Soi Sukhumvit 23 ☎ 02 258 4321 www.giustobangkok.com

Le Beaulieu French cuisine

Daily lunch hours from 11.30am-3pm. Three-course Business Lunch Set at B695++; Two-course Executive Lunch Set at B995++. A Le Brunch option is also available (entrée-soup-fish-meatdessert). Three-courses at B1,250++, four-courses at B1,760++. Athénée Tower (Ground floor), 63 Wireless Road. ☎ 02 168 8220 :le-beaulieu.com

Crepes & Co Mediterranean & Crepes

Any-Time Brunch Set available daily priced B498++. Set includes a fresh fruit juice, hot tea or coffee, a Baker’s Basket of your choice, a choice of breakfast plate, yogurt, cereals or muesli, a fruit plate or fruit salad, two eggs any style with toast, and a choice of pancake for dessert. 8 Thonglor, 88 Thonglor Soi 8. Open daily 9am-11pm (Sun opens at 8am) ☎ 02 726 9398 :crepesnco.com

Jim Thompson Restaurant and Lounge Thai and Western cuisine

Set lunches available daily from 11am4pm. East Set Lunch at B280++ (featuring a choice of popular Thai dishes). West Set Lunch at B320++ (featuring international dishes). Menus served with Thai ice tea or lemongrass juice 149/4-6 Surawong Rd. ☎ 02 235 8931-5 :jimthompson.com

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Gourmet

Dining|Lunch Deals Indus

Indian cuisine

Zuma

Japanese cuisine Zuma Business Lunch (comes in a bento set) available daily from 12pm3pm. Choice of classic main course at B490++, and signature main course at B780++. Sets include miso soup, salad, and steamed rice. St. Regis, 159 Ratchadamri Rd. ☎ 02 252 4707 :zumarestaurant.com

Three-course set lunch menu (non-vegetarian and vegetarian choices) available Mon-Fri from 11am-2.30pm. B349++. On weekends and public holidays, an all-youcan eat brunch is available from 11.30pm-3pm priced B550++ (half price for kids under 12). 71 Sukhumvit Soi 26. ☎ 02 258 4900 :indusbangkok.com

Le Vendome French cuisine

Lyon French Restaurant French cuisine

Executive Set Lunch served on weekdays from 11.30am-2.30pm. Fivecourse menu at B480++. Includes soup, salad, side dish, main course, and dessert. 33/2 Soi Ruamrudee 2. ☎ 02 253 8141

Four-course set lunch menu available daily from 11.30am-3pm. B480++. Lunch menu changes every 15 days. 267/2 Sukhumvit 31 (Soi Sawasdee) ☎ 02 662 0530-1 :levendromerestaurant.com

il Bolognese Italian cuisine

Cabbages & Condoms Thai cuisine

High Hat Sushi Bar

Set lunch available daily from 11am. Set A at B600++; Set B at B700++; and Set C at B800++. Deal only offered to tables of five or more diners. 6 Sukhumvit Soi 12 ☎ 02 229 4610 :pda.or.th

Tensui

Set lunches available every Fri-Sun from 11.30am-2pm. Sets range in price from B160++ for Yaki Udon, to B800++ for Ikura Donburi. Sets include miso soup, salad, and green tea).

Set lunches served daily from 11.30am-2.30pm. Price ranges from B330 for a Aigamo Touban Yaki Zen set, to B460 for Mini Don and Noodle Combo Set.

11/56 Petchaburi Soi 47 ☎ 02 716 7495

33 Sukhumvit Soi 16. ☎ 02 663 2281 :tensui.co

Japanese cuisine

Do you know a great lunch deal? Please send your suggestions to thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com TheBigChilli

Sathorn Soi 7 ☎ 02 286 8805 :ilbolognesebangkok.com

Japanese cuisine

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Set lunch available every Mon-Fri from 11.30am2.30pm. Set A (starter and main) at B290++; Set B (starter and main plus coffee/tea or ice-cream or fruit) at B390++; and Set C (starter and main plus coffee/tea or ice-cream or fruit) at B490++.


Expat WOMEN p Put your feet up and indulge

Marc Jacobs Beauty is a must visit for top cosmetics products. Page 60.

BWWG

Enjoy the latest slice of ďŹ ction from the Bangkok Women’s Writers Group Page 56

Shopping

Hot new products and stores demanding your attention Page 60

Health

Learn how to boost your well-being with these handy tips Page 66 TheBigChilli

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Expat Women

BWWG|Monsoon Midnights

Monsoon Midnights

M

Special places in Bangkok, as experienced by the Bangkok Women’s Writer’s Group Dear reader Welcome to ‘Monsoon Midnights,’ a brand new series of stories by the Bangkok Women’s Writers Group. The storytellers of the BWWG come from all over the world but they all have a special place in this city, somewhere surprising, obscure and unexpected, as yet undiscovered. Follow us to these hidden places right here, month after month. NIGHTFALL OVER BANGKOK THERE are some very high places in Bangkok. Places where you can look out and see the city like an interactive map spread out beneath you. Bangkok is forever unfinished. In every Soi, on every major road, I see buildings in decay, and buildings under construction. They lean intimately on each other’s shoulders, passing on the city’s unique miasma of airborne and waterborne and earthborne particles. Covered by and covering each other with a film of dust, of grime, of broken down residue from animal, mineral and vegetable matter. The new is infused with the old, sucked into the Bangkok soup. The old is brutally broken and discarded, only to be re-used in a patch-up next door. Cityscapes change radically every day and no one looks back. Trample the rubbish into the muck. Raise a 50 floor condo block that floats uncertainly in the swamp beneath the streets.

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Maps are out of date on the day of design, let alone the day of print. Intersections are surrounded by cranes like hostile alien armies moving in; compounds curtained off by tarpaulins emit fearful sounds by night. Crumbling shophouses show empty floors with broken windows to the sky train. Underneath those rotting shells sit thriving noodle shops whose fare is flavoured by what rains down from above. Excavations for deep basements of high rises drown in seepage from the city’s liquid heart. The streets themselves break up in holes and long fissures, the pipes below constantly unearthed in spookily lit night time operations that alternatively block and flood the traffic. Empty plots are alive with rubbish, rats and dogs. Then, one morning just before dawn, the cranes have moved in. Glossy pictures exalt real estate dreams of an upmarket, ‘never lived in’ future. Tonight I am drawn to one of the city’s newer developments, right next to an ancient flow of water where the convulsions of change churn up ground untouched since this marshland was formed to create environments never imagined before. I arrive, in keeping with tonight’s theme, in a speck of dust, inside a mantle of particles exhaled by the city’s night time breath. I fly freely, and I land easily on a newly cut stretch of land. Dust is everywhere, all powerful. I blend in. This month’s storyteller, Jasmine Eisner, sits on the edge of the water, looking dreamily into the sky. The moon is thin tonight, but the city casts her own glow. What do we need a moon for if our illumination can be spotted from space? The storyteller sighs and runs her hand over the newly exposed soil, not realising how easy it is to pick up a little dot of dust. It can sit on your hand, it can be smoothed into your hair. From there it is only a short way, as particles go, to pick up your thoughts, your stories, your dreams… And that’s what it’s all about tonight…


Sweet Dream House By Jasmine Eisner I’m determined to catch the firefly as soon as I see it in the banana grove. I stop walking and hold out my hand to stop Dylan as well. “Look!” He smiles and says, “Cool,” but starts walking again. I follow, always watching the firefly. I tell myself it’s just a stupid idea born of sleep deprivation and look away. We arrive at San Samran Bridge and Dylan holds out his hand to help me climb over the banister. The bridge has a ridiculous flaw where the pedestrian walkway dead-ends into a hedge so you have to climb over the railing. Our hands remain intertwined for an extra glorious second and I thank the foolish architects. “Why do you think the bridge has a guard?” I ask, watching the guy sitting on a plastic stool on the other side of the bridge. “You know, to guard the bridge,” Dylan winks. “From what?” “Ghosts. We’re surrounded by them in Thailand.” I roll my eyes and give him a shove. “Careful. I’ll fall over the edge.” “Only an idiot could fall off this bridge.” We both lean on the railing halfway down the bridge. I rest on my right side so that I face Dylan, while he leans straight on, staring down at the river. “It’s so peaceful here,” he says. “Yeah, I wish I could have seen what this area was like before all the condos. Watch it all be built and then see what happens next.” Dylan nods, but seems lost in thought, probably thinking about Nok. He glances at his watch. “Wow, I’ve got to go to bed.” It is midnight and I know he has to go, but I’m still disappointed. “Some of us actually sleep. You might want to try it sometime.” He gives me a playful shove. “I do try.” I hate when people imply that sleep is easy and I’m doing something wrong. “Well I wish you success.” He kisses me on the cheek. I want to turn towards him so our lips will meet, but I let him go. Once I’m home, I do try to sleep. I try for hours, but the need to catch a firefly burns brighter and brighter. I find myself searching for a jar and settle on a clear plastic container. And then I’m skipping back to the bridge. I stop, heart pounding. There is no guard on the stool. I’m not sure why this frightens me. I take a breath and continue across the bridge, into the banana grove. It probably doesn’t deserve the title grove anymore. Most of it has been bulldozed and all of it is lit from surrounding construction. I swear if you blink in this city something new is built.

I’m about to give up my search when I see a spark glide past me. The firefly heads to the road and I have to climb onto the bridge in pursuit. The spark and I zigzag towards the river. Then it slows near the edge of the bridge. I’m so close. I climb onto the railing and reach out with my tupperware in one hand and the lid in the other. With a quick movement I bring my hands together and topple forward over the edge of the bridge. I guess I’m an idiot. My first thought, as I hit the surprisingly cold water, is that I’m going to die from contaminants. Well actually I suppose the ‘surprisingly cold’ thought was first, and then came the worry, and then…my poor, poor cellphone. I let out a sad little moan as I splash around. This causes some water to go into my mouth and I choke as thoughts return to water toxicity. I reach into my pocket with one hand and use the other to stay afloat. I hold up my cellphone above the surface as I swim ashore. I know the damage is done, but I can’t help trying to protect my baby. I pull myself onto the shore. Where is all the trash I saw earlier? I lie down on my back. The Milky Way shines brightly in jaw dropping glory. I lift my head slightly. Where are all the condos? Shouldn’t they be towering over me? In fact where is everything? I must be asleep. This happens to me sometimes. I pinch myself. No such luck. Maybe when I hit the water I blacked out and was carried downstream. Yes, that must be it. How far down did I go? There is nothing here. I look behind me. I am met with a wall of thick jungle with a splatter of darting specks of light. One of them flies near me. Although I have no proof, I get the distinct feeling the insect is ridiculing me. I need sleep. I just need to find the bridge and go home. I walk upstream. The firefly follows me. There are no lights besides the stars and the fireflies, but there are enough of those to make it easy to see. I sit down. The firefly lands on my arm. This should probably be awe-inspiring, but I’m exhausted and annoyed. “What do you want?” That’s when it starts. The empty wilderness around me awakens with human presence. I watch as they build the temple across the river. Build isn’t quite the right word because it happens at incredible speed, as though someone has pressed fast-forward. It feels like my heart is on fast-forward as well. I’m shaking and light-headed. Houses are built and torn down and built again. I hear loud noises behind me and know the highway is coming. Lights flicker on everywhere. The buildings are getting taller now. At this point I’m no longer surprised. I see Lumpini lifting up. It will still be years before my own condo is built, but in under a second I see it. The other condos pile up before me with such speed that they’re finished before I see the ground break.

H

I hear loud noises behind me and know the highway is coming. Lights flicker on everywhere. The buildings are getting taller now. At this point I’m no longer surprised.

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Expat Women

BWWG|Monsoon Midnights

My surroundings have reached their normal appearance. I take a deep breath. It is good to be home. But before I can let out the breath I realize the development hasn’t stopped. Four new massive condos spring up. One is built dangerously close to me and I tighten myself into a ball. A new BTS line flies by and another highway follows. Some of the older buildings disappear and new ones grow out of the wreckage. The new ones sparkle and the surfaces remind me of mercury. The vegetation has all disappeared and the river is covered. An hourglass shaped building sprouts in front of me. All the buildings glow with advertisements on their smooth skin and I don’t even recognize what they are selling. The night is moving at a normal pace again. A large unfamiliar aircraft flies between skyscrapers. I let out my breath. I don’t recognize anything. The night is unpleasantly loud, and hot. The sky looks lonely without stars. Perhaps the firefly thinks so too, because it leaves my arm and heads into the sky.

and the fully-dressed part is a saving factor. I might not be on the list of wildest things done, but surely watching the city be built into the future counts towards craziest things seen. “Where you stay?” “Hmm? Oh…” I point to where my building used to be. The hourglass building is there now. The sun is beginning to rise, turning the slick walls a light pink colour. “Very nice.” “I like yours better. You don’t by any chance have a unit for rent?” He looks concerned, which is really about time. “Wait a moment.” I don’t have anywhere to go, so I wait. He comes back out of the house holding a key that looks old even to my standards. He walks past me, around the building. I sigh and follow. He unlocks another red-roofed building. “Very small. Not good for foreigner.”

T

H

he Bangkok Women’s Writers Group, founded in 2001, and led by Anette Pollner (who also writes the recurring moon stories in this series), is where creative women from all over the world meet to workshop their writing in a supportive and inspiring environment. Many of our members are published and prize winning authors, but we are open to all women who are passionate about writing, including complete beginners. The BWWG has published a Thai English language bestseller, ‘Bangkok Blondes’ and various pamphlets. We regularly give readings around town and have been part of international festivals and cultural exchanges. Please contact bkk_writers@yahoo.com for more information. This month’s story teller is Jasmine Eisner who spends her days teaching English and her nights swing dancing and writing. The Bangkok Women’s Writers group has been inspirational for her and given her the courage to share her writing. This story is Jasmine’s first publication.

How much time has passed? I think of Dylan. His hazel eyes, dark hair, and strong jaw covered in stubble. Is he still alive? If he is, his hair will surely be grey by now. Maybe he and Nok got married, maybe their grown son will fall in love with me. Or their grandson. No telling how far down the family tree I am at this point. I close my eyes and open them hoping to see my normal neighbourhood. The shining mercury city is still there when I open my eyes. I sigh. I decide to walk back the way I came even though my condo doesn’t exist anymore. I pass a beautiful house with three pointed red roofs. It is the first thing I recognize from my time. It is so hot I feel as though I’m going to melt. The only reason my jeans are bearable is because they’re soaked. I hear someone in the house moving. Who knows what time it is. Or for that matter what year. Or what reality. I pinch myself. Still hurts. A middle-aged Thai man comes out of the house and stares at me. He looks well rested. I envy him. “Hello,” I say. “Where you come from?” Good question. The river? The past? I try to put together an explanation, but then I recognize the look on his face and realize the answer he wants. “I’m from America.” “Oh! America,” he smiles and nods as though American girls are always climbing out of the river, in the middle of the night, fully dressed. Although come to think of it, I probably haven’t made the list of craziest things Americans have done in Bangkok

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I step inside. It is very small, but all I notice are the murals of fireflies near a river. “It called Sweet Dream House. It’s one of the first house in this area.” “I remember.” He regards me suspiciously so I add, “from a history book.” He looks even more perplexed. “Or something.” Do they not have books anymore? “Anyways, is it okay if I sleep here now?” “No bed,” he gestures around the empty room. “No problem. I’m sure I can fall asleep,” and then to prove it I lie down and instantly fall asleep. So easy to travel when you are dust. There are currents in the air over Bangkok, like currents in a deep river, and tides that roll up and down the flood plain. Easy to navigate if you know how. Easy to return to my observation spot high above the city, and I make it there well before dawn. But not before another brigade of cranes has moved in to crush the crumbling shophouses just a few Sois over. I can see the dirt plume rising into the air current. The moon is sticking thinly to the sky, reluctant to leave, perhaps afraid it will not recognize the place tomorrow. I will see the moon over Bangkok again next month, when I visit our next storyteller, waiting for me already, somewhere, in an undiscovered corner of the city. Let me take you on that journey!


Expat Women

Shopping|New products BEAUTY MADE SIMPLE

■ IF you haven’t ventured into the international cosmetics wonderland that is Sephora Thailand yet, what are you waiting for! The Marc Jacobs Beauty counter is almost worth the visit on its own, featuring 16 innovative complexion and colour cosmetics, four luxurious makeup brushes, and expert staff who can talk you through what you need to create the perfect look. Our faves from the range include the Lash lifter gel volume mascara, which makes lashes voluminous without the need for a lash curler, and the Shameless bold blush, which brings vibrant colour to even the palest of cheeks. Sephora Thailand is located at Siam Center (Siam BTS) www.siamcenter.co.th

Talking

Shop Hot products and stores demanding your attention

NEW LOOK H&M ■ H&M’s Spring 2014 Collection arrives this month offering a bohemian range of clothing and accessories just perfect for Bangkok’s fashion-forward yet-always-sultry streets. Coming in urban-inspired shades of black, white, mocha, and metallic, the collection is led by soft frilly blouses and delicate cotton voile dresses, and features a wide range of playful jewelry and belts. Key accessories include moon and star earrings, big stone rings, and heeled sandals. The collection is available now in all H&M branches.

MUSIC ON THE MOVE

FASHION AND LEATHER ■ THE 2014 edition of the annual Bangkok International Fashion Fair & Bangkok International Leather Fair will be held at Impact Convention Center, Muang Thong Thani, from March 15-16 (10am-6pm). A treasure trove of clothing, bags, belts, jewelry and more – from local as well as international brands – the fair gets crowded but don’t let the shopping hordes put you off. In amongst the numerous stalls are some fantastic bargains, and seeking them out is all part of the fun. www.impact.co.th

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■ REPLACE the shrill sounds of city streets with your favourite music – as if you’re listening to it live. That’s the promise of the new NAD VISO HP20 High Resolution In-Ear Headphones, which have been specially designed to bring the warm, open sound of live performances directly to your personal headphone experience. www.conice.co.th


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Strip_AD_Bangkok Prep_Mar14_M4.indd 1

8/31/12 2:58:57 PM

2/28/14 9:45 AM

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Expat Women

Education |News

School Report

Bangkok Nipper’s Surf Life Saving Camp Bangkok Prep teacher publishes book about Songkran

PEPA O’Donovan, an Early Years teacher at Bangkok International Preparatory & Secondary School (Bangkok Prep), has just published Songkran, an Englishlanguage children’s book about the traditional Thai New Year festival. This self-published book, illustrated by Thai cartoonist Chanin Suasungnern, takes young readers through the different rites performed during this Thai New Year, giving children an opportunity to learn more about this popular Thai festival. The book, aimed at children ages 3 to 7, is available for B250 at Wankaew Book Shop by Nanmee Books in Sukhumvit Soi 31. On March 26, Bangkok Prep will host a book launch at the school’s Primary Library from 8.30am3.30pm. The event is open to the public. To book a seat, call Valerie Campeau on 02 260 7890 (Ext 107)

BANGKOK Nippers is joining forces with the Five Star Radisson Blu Plaza Resort Panwa Beach, Phuket, to offer an alternative healthy, energetic and luxury vacation based upon the Australian traditional past time of surf lifesaving. From Thurs April 10 to Sunday April 13, Bangkok Nippers will teach children (and their families) the components of bronze medallion lifesaving training. To ensure correct instruction, places are limited to only 30 children and offered on a first come first serve basis. For the event, Radisson Blu Plaza Resort will offer a range of special packages featuring three nights’ accommodation, daily breakfast, daily packed lunch, daily dinner, transfers to and from the beach, and more. Packages start at B20,490 baht for three nights. For more info Tel: 085 236 0217 or email: bangkoknippers@gmail.com

Lakeside Gala Concert at Harrow

HARROW’S popular Lakeside Gala Concert will return on March 13 with a ‘Movies Under the Stars’ theme. Catch the school’s Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Band and Choirs presenting the very best soundtracks from blockbusters of the silver screen, including the most popular James Bond theme tunes. On the night the school will also reveal two very special guest conductors, whose identity will remain a secret until the event. www.harrowschool.ac.th

IPN event:

Instilling leadership skills in your child THE International Parenting Network will meet at the FCCT on Tuesday March 25 for a discussion about how parents can develop leadership skills in their children. Guest speaker Preethi Stalder will explore methods and techniques parents can use to train children to listen to other people’s opinions and ideas, and explain how maintaining a positive attitude and fulfilling commitments can instill positive leadership in children. Entry is free for IPN cardmembers and B600 for nonmembers (includes presentation, handouts, light dinner, one glass of wine and soft drinks). 6.30pm-8.30pm. Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT), The Penthouse, Maneeya Centre, Ploenchit Road (Chidlom BTS, Exit 2). RSVP: ipn@ipnthailand.com Tel: 081 826 2399

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School Report

Promotion|Harrow

One Country, Two Schools, Worlds Apart By Gayle van den Berg

How Harrow is creating leaders for a better world ■ THE Leadership in Action Programme at Harrow International School Bangkok immerses students in extracurricular activities, both inside and outside of the classroom, allowing them to move out of their comfort zones and undertake new experiences. Whether they are tasked with building a raft and spending 24 hours on the Harrow Lake, or trying to earn the minimum wage by cutting sugar cane, Harrow students are challenged to push their boundaries in safe and controlled environments. What’s more, they are given the chance to pick up valuable skills such as First Aid or Lifeguarding, and enjoy plenty of

adrenaline-pumping adventures (a 40-metre Tyrolean rope climb is always a hit). One recent activity, which I was privileged enough to accompany the students on, saw our group venture to Mae Sot in northern Thailand, where we visited some migrant schools and journeyed into the Mae La refugee camp, the largest permanent refugee camp in the world.  Created in 1984 on the Thai-Burmese border, which is lined with a string of refugee camps, the Mae La Camp was built to house Karen refugees fleeing conflict in Burma. Its endless bamboo shelters stretch into the mountains in an area of stunning natural beauty, but there’s

no denying the camp’s purpose – large fences surround the area, and, on our visit, the road was devoid of people and cars, with everyone on the “other” side. Today, the camp houses over 35,000 people. As stateless individuals with no rights, they ultimately face a bleak future. The Harrow Bangkok community aims to make a small impact on the lives of these individuals by contributing to the development of schools and education in the Camp and surrounding area.  We do this by working in conjunction with the Burma Education Partnership, “a professional teacher training and educational organisation offering specialist support to communities affected by war and poverty,” and we donate educational materials, meet and interact with the children, and even teach some English. It is an invaluable experience that exposes our students to the geopolitics of the region, and encourages them to develop the six attributes enshrined in our mission statement: Service, Charity, Challenge, Teamwork, Creative expression, and Leadership. A Harrow Bangkok education is meaningful, holistic, and for life. The current adult generation has both inherited and contributed to numerous regional and global changes. We now require resilient and courageous problem solvers to lead us to a better world. www.harrowschool.ac.th

Head Master of Harrow Bangkok, Michael Farley, meets with Karen Waterston of the Burma Education Partnership, and local teachers 64

TheBigChilli


FOUNDATION ENGLISH PROGRAMME

22nd April 2014 - 27th June 2014 Ages 9 - 14

Yi Shi (Sherry) ...at age 13 Sherry joined our language programme... ...at age 18 she graduated and is reading Economics at the London School of Economics... ...she is now applying to study for a Master’s Degree in the USA...

www.harrowschool.ac.th

Over twelve weeks of intensive English study, supported by lessons in Mathematics and Sports, our Foundation English Programme helps students to develop the language skills and confidence to access and excel in a mainstream international learning environment. In small classes, with specialised teaching and support, students are prepared for Cambridge Second Language examinations and for entry into Harrow Bangkok’s UK based curriculum programmes.

I N T E R NAT I O NAL S C H O O L BAN G K O K Telephone: 02 503 7222 ext 1128/9 email: admissions@harrowschool.ac.th Leadership for a better world


Expat Women

Health|Wellbeing

Super Foods to the rescue! By Judith Coulson

Boost your health and ward off illness by adding these power-packed morsels to your diet SUPER Foods are ubiquitous nowadays. Anything that’s supposed to have a positive impact on one’s health and wellbeing – think magic diets, drinks, supplements – will no doubt be linked in some way to ingredients that are made to sound like the most essential nutrients on earth. But how much of this can you really believe? How much of what’s being promoted is true? And how much of it is just guesswork and clever marketing? Well, first its important to know what a real ‘Super Food’ is. In short, it’s a functional food that has been identified as providing optimal nutrition, along with additional health benefits. Second, it’s important to know how to find them. And for this, you need to look straight at whole foods – that is, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods which contain disease-fighting phytochemicals. Phytochemicals, sometimes called phytonutrients, are biological active ingredients in whole foods that perform antioxidant and hormone like actions within the body. The most common phytochemicals you may have read about are: Carotenoids, Lycopene, Catechins, Flavonoids, Phenols, Indoles, Isoflavones and Phytosterols. Phytochemicals cannot be eaten as a supplement and need to be consumed as part of a balanced whole food diet. The following are some FDA approved Super Foods (all whole foods) that are internationally accredited:

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Blueberries

Oats Oats are rich in soluble fibre, minerals and vitamins, contain polyphenols and other phytochemicals. Oats are a great food choice to lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Consume 2-3 tbsp of unprocessed oats a day.

Blueberries are a good source of fibre, folate, potassium, vitamin C and E. They contain antioxidants and phytochemicals. Studies show that they play a role in the prevention of cancer and heart disease, have anti-inflammatory properties, anti-aging properties, and can promote cognitive functions. Consume ½ cup a day. Buy them frozen – it’s cheaper and they’re more nutritious.

Beans Beans are a low fat source of protein, are high in fibre, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, flavonoids and other essential nutrients and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of beans lowers cholesterol and the risk of heart disease as well as blood sugar levels (diabetes). Eat 4-5 cups per week.

Dark chocolate (75% cacao up) Dark Chocolate contributes to low blood pressure while enhancing blood flow. Chocolate with a high cacao content is rich in flavonoids, other antioxidant properties, and polyphenols. Keep your daily dark chocolate intake to about 100 calories a day (=1 ounce).


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Expat Women

Health|Wellbeing

Oranges and other citrus fruits High in vitamin C, antioxidant properties, fibre, folate, potassium, and polyphenols, citrus fruits can boost your immune function, support your heart health, and reduce cancer risk. Consume 1 fruit a day (juice does not count as it lacks the fibre).

Spinach, Kale and other dark leafy greens Natural Greek yoghurt (low fat)

Salmon (and other cold water fatty fish) Salmon is a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids, protein, B vitamins, and selenium. Wild salmon is also rich in astaxanthin, one of the most potent antioxidants discovered so far. Fatty fish can lower the risk of heart disease and may offset memory loss. Eat 2 servings of fatty fish per week.

Natural yoghurt is rich in protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B12, potassium, magnesium, zinc and conjugated linoleic acid and probiotics. Yogurt aids the control of your glucose and lipid metabolism, improves bone and gastrointestinal health. Consume 2-3 tbsp a day.

These veggies are nutrient dense and rich in different flavonoids, fibre, chlorophyll, carotenoids, lutein, vitamin A, B, C and K, calcium, iron, beta carotene, chromium, potassium, and magnesium. Green leafy vegetables protect against stroke and coronary heart disease, age related macular degeneration, and cataracts. They also boost immune functions. 2-3 servings a day are recommended either raw as salad, steamed or stir fried.

Pumpkin, winter squash, sweet potatoes

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables Not only are these vegetables rich in polyphenols, but they are also nutrient dense with folate, fibre, calcium and vitamin C. They support the cardiovascular health, boost your immune functions, and can reduce the risk of cancer. Google cruciferous vegetables for a full list. Consume 1 cup a day

Tea Black tea is high in antioxidants, and green tea even more so. Antioxidants include ECEG and Catechins, which are known to prevent certain forms of cancer and heart disease. Enjoy with all the whole foods listed above for the perfect breakfast!

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Rich in fibre, carotenoids, potassium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, antioxidants, vitamin C and E, these starchy vegetables are great at controlling and lowering blood glucose levels (diabetes). They also have anti-inflammatory properties. There are many more whole foods on the list of declared Super Foods that have a positive impact on your wellbeing and can prevent disease and promote health. If you would like to know more about Super &Functional Foods, and how they can add value to your life, please feel free to contact Judith@bkk-health.com. Judith Coulson is a Medical Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach, available for private coaching sessions and corporate wellness programs.


Expat Women

Advice|Problems solved

Ask the experts

Send your problems to: thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com

Expat life getting you down? Don’t suffer in silence. Send in your problems and get advice from professional counsellors Anette and Johanna

Q

Ner vous and miserable in Bangkok

I CAME to Bangkok about two months ago. At first I felt OK, but after one month I started to feel very nervous. The whole atmosphere in Bangkok makes me feel uncomfortable. I don’t know anything about Thai politics but I am not used to having continued protests in the centre of the city where I live. My brain tells me I have nothing to worr y about, but I still feel anxious. I read about fights, and sometimes even about bombs, and although I know Bangkok is a big city I feel unsafe. It is ver y hard to fall asleep. Next month my husband and I will have to get our visas renewed and I am not sure how we will get to the Immigration Office. My husband just got his work permit, but what if we cannot proceed with the other paper work? Where do I get information that is up to date and applies to us? I am discovering that I am not as adventurous as I thought I was. In fact, the whole procedure before entering a plane is already ner ve-wracking. How they check your luggage, make you take off your shoes and walk through a scanner etc. It makes me feel almost like a criminal. Again, my brain tells me all the good reasons for safety and protection from terrorism, but it makes traveling ver y stressful for me. My husband loves it here and would not like to go back to our home country, but I don’t know if I am able to handle the insecurities of staying in a country where I have to go for visas every year, get a stamp every three months and where there is so much turmoil. What can I do?

Annali, 24, from Switzerland

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Dear Annali,

■ LIVING in a foreign country can be very hard, and it’s not strange that after one month you’re already feeling unsettled. Often when we just arrive in a new country we have many first impressions and new experiences and usually we enjoy them. Books about exploring

a new culture tell us that the first period of living in a foreign country is called the ‘honeymoon phase,’ and this can last for three months or sometimes even longer. But some of us hardly have this ‘honeymoon’ experience, especially when reality hits us straight in the face. So part of your issue might be the start of your culture shock, but I think another stress is added in your life and this has to do with you not feeling safe. Due to the current political unrest, your comfort zone is threatened. Also, it sounds like your anxiousness started when you experienced the pre-boarding procedures at the airport; procedures that signal an emergency situation – and your system responded accordingly. Adding to your stress is the fact that you are a foreigner in Thailand and, as in every other country, you have to abide by Thai immigration laws. You are not a citizen here, and every three months you are reminded of the fact when you check in with the immigration authority. Information is available, however, on several great blogs and, for visa matters, also on the website of the immigration office at http://bangkok.immigration.go.th/intro1.html. There are currently several alternative sites where you can get your visa stamps without a problem. But I am wondering whether there are other reasons behind your fears. Do these uncertainties remind you of uncertainties that you had in the past that also made you feel tense? Has there been political unrest in your home country that you might have observed as a child, or fears connected to this from parents or relatives? If this is the case, you are confronted with your past each time you hear the news or when you are limited in your freedom to go wherever you want to go, due to the protests. It might be good to talk your feelings through with someone who can help recognize the source of your fears. You could also learn techniques how to deal with stress through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and meditation techniques. Wishing you tor ec ir D l nica is the Cli ned in the S M g a pleasant and in She trai a DeKon • Johannounseling Center. . C ia fearless stay in S al C tr of N ds and Aus Netherlan Thailand.


Q

Tormented by a big secret

I HAVE a secret. It’s quite a big secret, but it’s not criminal or harmful to anyone who is in my life right now, nor is it likely to become so. But it is a big secret from my past, and it troubles me. I tr y to explain to myself that there is no real reason why this secret should affect me now, but the memor y of it does. In fact, if I am honest I would say that I think about it ever y day. Usually it’s just a brief flash, but sometimes it is harder to shake and I remember all details with great clarity. When that happens, my emotions are also switched on and I feel shame and fear as if it had happened yesterday. Because my secret is so separate from my present life, I haven’t told anyone, not my wife, certainly not my children, and of course not anyone else. Once I was ver y close to revealing it to a friend but then that same friend told me someone else’s secret, a secret that he had promised to keep from ever yone. So I realized I couldn’t trust him with mine. I’m not sure what do to. I am perfectly able to function and maybe I will just take my secret to my grave (that sounds a bit corny but...). What do you think?

Waldemar, 41, from Germany

A

it becomes something that separates them from the rest of the world. And that is what it does to you, obviously. When you talk about the impact of your secret from the past, it sounds as if you are experiencing the after effects of trauma. You have flashbacks, you feel as if it happened yesterday (it no longer feels like a memory...), and you think about it every day. This could either be the long term effects of the secret itself or/and the effects of keeping it apart from the rest of your life. You are not able to integrate this part of your life into your whole self. This clearly affects your self-image. You may be afraid how others will think of you if they knew your secret, but you yourself see it as an obstacle to accepting yourself (fear and shame...). You also go through a minor, re-activated trauma whenever you remember. So the question is really whether you want to let this secret have so much power over your life. I understand that you function well, so at this point you have a choice. Maybe you could write your secret down (on paper, just once, then burn it!) or you could imagine that someone else told you this story. What would you advise them to do? This could help you explore the effect of the secret on your self-image and perhaps work on it. Finally, many counsellors have written about the fact that so many people carry an important secret (or several) all through their lives. So maybe this happens more often than you think. You are definitely not alone.

Dear Waldemar,

■ There are many different schools of thought about revealing secrets. As a counsellor, I know a lot of secrets, including those, like yours, that have never been revealed to anyone else. Of course, as a counsellor, I am committed to keeping those secrets unless you are planning to commit a violent crime in which case I have to break confidentiality to protect others. But under any other circumstances, your secret is safe with a counsellor. Forever. So this is perhaps an option. While couples counsellors in the past advised telling each other all important secrets, opinions are now divided on that. Psychologists see a distinction between ‘secret’ and ‘private,’ depending on the impact the secret has on the relationship. And sometimes ‘unburdening’ yourself means burdening someone else. Maybe you can find a good ‘confidante’ elsewhere but this other person will then have to carry this secret for you which puts a lot of pressure on them. Apparently studies have shown that ‘confidantes’ tell an important secret to at least two other people. That is because, although it is not their personal secret,

• Anette Po of seven in llner Adv. Dipl. Couns. , is one Counselingternational counsellors trained in LoCenter in Saphan Kw at NCS staff counse ndon and the US andai. She llor at Bart’ worked as a s Hospital in London.

Contact details: ncs-counseling.com, anette.p@ncs-counseling.com, Tel: 02 279 8503 Send your problems to: thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com

TheBigChilli

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Insight

Health|Dengue Fever

Dengue fever is now an urban threat By Maxmilian Wechsler

Once thought of as a disease confined to Thailand’s upcountry areas, Dengue has infiltrated cities like Bangkok

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WITH more and more people in Bangkok contracting dengue fever (DF), the myth that the disease was an upcountry phenomenon has been truly busted wide open. Although there are 19 provinces in Thailand regarded as active breeding areas of the Aedes mosquito which transmits the disease, most cases actually occur in ten of them in the central region. And they include Bangkok, where crowded communities offer abundant opportunities for the mosquitoes to breed.   Tawat Ananthothai, 57, who lives in Bang Chak in the Phra Khanong district, is one of many Bangkokians who contracted DF last year. “One evening in the middle of August, I was at home watching television when I suddenly felt strange,” he said. “I went to bed, suspecting nothing serious, but the next day I felt even worse. I had a high fever, between 38-39C and felt little muscle-aches all over my body.

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  “At first I thought it was flu, and I took paracetamol for two days. The fever went down a little but I still didn’t feel good, so I went to see a doctor at a major Bangkok hospital on August 18. After examining me, she diagnosed me with flu and recommended that I stay in the hospital for a treatment, which I did.”   Mr Tawat was treated with antibiotics and more paracetamol. A blood test found that his platelet count was slightly low, a telltale sign of DF, but the doctor felt it was nothing to be concerned about. The hospital didn’t check his platelet count again before discharging him on August 20.   “That was their mistake,” said Mr Tawat. “I am sure my platelet count had dropped dramatically by then.   “The next day, I still didn’t feel very well. I spoke to a friend who is a doctor, and he advised me to get a complete blood count [CBC] analyzing my red and white cells and platelets.


I

  “It was a good decision to talk to another doctor. If I had any kind of accident at that time, driving a car or just bumping into something while walking around, I could have bled to death. I strongly recommend that anyone with symptoms that could be DF ask their doctor to check specifically for it.   “I walked into another hospital and asked for the CBC. The result wasn’t very good. My platelet count was only 10,000 [per microliter of blood], which is very low. A platelet count under 50,000 is considered dangerous. My doctor told me to get admitted to the hospital immediately because my condition was serious and I could die.   “I was re-admitted to the first hospital on the same day and requested a specialist. Another blood test confirmed the low platelet count, and I received platelets administered intravenously into my arm. At that time I didn’t have a fever, so they didn’t give me any medicine. The specialist told me there is no drug to treat dengue, nor any vaccine to prevent it.   “I didn’t have other symptoms like vomiting or pain in my joints. One of my friends who contracted dengue fever about three years ago was pretty ill. He couldn’t eat or even drink. I felt fine in comparison. “The next morning my platelet count had increased to 30,000 and on August 24 it was up to 35,000. I was discharged that day. Before I left, the specialist told me that there has been a big increase in the number of elderly people who are being infected with dengue; in the past, children were mostly the victims.    “She also stressed that the seriousness of the disease is due to its effect on platelets [which help to clot blood at the site of a wound]. If you have an accident or cut yourself when you have a low platelet count, you could actually bleed to death. While I was in the hospital, I wasn’t even allowed to brush my teeth because it might cause bleeding.” By August 27, further blood tests showed Mr Tawat’s platelet count was over 150,000.   “When I tell my friends I contracted dengue, the first question they ask is where I got it. They are usually surprised when I tell them I hadn’t left Bangkok for many weeks. It apparently takes around two weeks from the time the infected mosquito bites you before the first symptoms appear,” explained Mr Tawat.   He said that no one from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) came to spray his house and the surrounding area with insecticide as they are supposed to when a DF case is reported. According to regulations, every hospital in Bangkok must notify the BMA when they have a patient with dengue.  

Rising global threat

  DF is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with one of four viruses (see sidebar). Last year Thailand experienced its worst epidemic since 1987, with 152,768 cases of dengue resulting in 132 deaths. There were 48 reported deaths in 2012 and 45 in 2011. Health officials expect a slower dengue season this year due to an extended cool season.       The recent rise in DF cases is

not restricted to Thailand. It is a global phenomenon thought to be linked to climate change. It has been detected in tropical and sub-tropical areas of Africa, Australia, the Caribbean basin, Central and South America, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and China. Southern parts of the United States are also hunting grounds for mosquitoes carrying the virus.   More than 2.5 billion people, around 40% of the global population, live in more than 100 countries where there is a risk of dengue transmission. About 1.8 billion of these are in Asia-Pacific countries, and tropical Southeast Asian nations are particularly vulnerable to DF.   Last year’s DF figures broke records all across Asia and Latin America. In Nicaragua, DF reached epidemic proportions, and the number of cases in India doubled from 2012. In Africa, outbreaks of DF were reported last year in Angola and Kenya. In Oceania, French Polynesia reported an outbreak and so did New Caledonia.   Most countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean also reported increased incidences of DF in 2013. Brazil reported three times the number of DF cases in comparison to the same period of 2012, and more cases were also recorded in Paraguay, Mexico, Nicaragua, French Guiana and Costa Rica. The Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin also reported increases in 2013.   Along with Thailand, in Southeast Asia, Laos, Malaysia and Singapore reported more cases in 2013.

 

Geographic expansion

  DF is not only showing increased incidence, it is also spreading geographically. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the possibility of an outbreak of DF now exists in Europe and local transmission of dengue was reported for the first time in France and Croatia in 2010. In 2012, an outbreak of dengue in the Madeira Islands of Portugal resulted in over 2,000 cases, and imported cases were detected in 10 other European countries, apart from mainland Portugal.

TheBigChilli

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Health|Dengue Fever

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  The first homegrown case in seven decades was reported in Western Australia. An outbreak was reported for the first time in Bhutan in 2004. In November 2006, nine people were hospitalized for dengue in Nepal, but all cases had been contracted elsewhere.   While the mortality rate from DF is still significantly less than from HIV/Aids, heart disease and car accidents, health officials are understandably concerned. The WHO says the incidence of dengue has increased 30-fold over the last 50 years, and with almost half of the world’s population now at risk, the WHO implemented a strategic prevention plan for the AsiaPacific region in 2008. The plan, which runs through 2015, aims to reduce the death rate to below 1% of the infected population and cut the number of dengue cases by 20% per year.     The WHO responds to dengue in many ways, such as supporting countries in the confirmation of outbreaks through a collaborating network of laboratories, and improving DF reporting systems to portray an accurate picture of the toll taken by the disease. It gathers official reports of dengue cases from over 100 member states and publishes guidelines and handbooks for case management, prevention and control. The WHO also develops tools to aid in the fight, including insecticides and new treatment applications and technologies.  

Dengue in Asia

  SOUTHEAST and Southern Asia are highly prone to DF epidemics, as transmission occurs year-round. The WHO records disease incidence every year in eight countries in the region: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste, where an outbreak with an unusually high fatality rate (3.55%) was first reported in 2005.       According to the WHO, DF was first reported in Thailand in 1949 and the first verified outbreak occurred in 1958, when there were 2,158 reported cases and 300 deaths. The country has had several major epidemics since then, including in 1987 when 174,285 cases were reported. However, the fatality rate at this time was a very low 0.58%.  

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      The Ministry of Public Health closely cooperates and coordinates with the WHO and other international organizations, as well as with other Thai government agencies throughout the country, including the BMA. The ministry has been countering the outbreak by setting up operation centers in all districts of the country and launching campaigns to raise awareness of the disease. All private hospitals in Bangkok have been directed to report each case directly to the BMA and not to the Ministry of Public Health. The BMA will afterward report to the ministry. When someone gets infected with the disease, the BMA should dispatch a rapid response team to investigate the case. If they verify that it is DF, they will then send another team to spray pesticide in the community.   At the start of 2013, the Thai cabinet ordered various ministries, including the Education and Interior ministries, to work out a vector control and surveillance program aimed at terminating the breeding grounds for dengue-carrying in mosquitoes. Hospitals nationwide are also on alert. So-called “dengue corners” have been set up at hospitals to screen

The WHO says the incidence of dengue has increased 30fold over the last 50 years

Insight


What you should know about Dengue

patients with dengue-like symptoms to make a fast and efficient diagnosis.        According to experts and doctors, DF is a preventable disease, but even though Thailand has been fighting it for almost a half century infection is still common. Many cases are reported in remote, mountainous communities which are difficult to reach and where knowledge of disease prevention is poor and the vector control and surveillance program is absent. Some of these areas are inhabited by lowincome minorities who are unable to afford mosquito repellent.   Adding to the challenges for the country’s healthcare sector, scientists have discovered a new type of the virus that causes dengue. The surprising find was announced during the Third Dengue Fever Conference held in Bangkok from October 21-23 last year. The new discovery is bound to complicate efforts to develop a vaccine against the persistent global menace.

  DENGUE fever (DF) is a flu-like viral infection transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected female mosquito of the Aedes aegypti (or Yellow Fever Mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (or Tiger Mosquito) species, found throughout the world. The incubation time can be anywhere from 3-14 days after the mosquito bites, but is most often 4-7 days. DF can be caused by any of the four types of dengue virus: DEN-1, 2, 3 or 4. Scientists say that the Aedes mosquito’s lifespan has recently increased from one to two months. The mosquito is quite small and dark with white markings and banded legs. It usually lives indoors and near humans, its primary food source. The mosquito tends to rest in cool, shaded places in houses such as laundry areas, under tables and in wardrobes. It feeds during daylight hours, often biting people around the feet and ankles, bites repeatedly and is hard to catch. The bite is painless. The Dengue virus can only be transmitted from mosquito-to-person, not person-to-person. Virus-carrying mosAedes aegypti quitoes breed in clear water and can be often be found in and around housing developments. They are most active during the day. DF is not a new disease. The first recorded mention of symptoms compatible with DF was in China during the Chin Dynasty (265-420 AD), when it was called a “water poison” and associated with insects. DF was first isolated in 1943. During the last part of the 20th century, many tropical regions of the world saw an increase in dengue cases. Epidemics occurred more frequently and with more severity. In recent years, DF has become a major international public health concern. Currently dengue is the most important viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes afflicting humans in the world context. Aedes albopictus Symptoms of typical uncomplicated classic dengue usually start with fever and also include severe headache (mostly in the forehead), pain behind the eyes which worsens with eye movement, severe joint and muscle pains and aches, swollen lymph nodes, nausea, general weakness, sudden chills, vomiting and/or diarrhea, skin rash and loss of appetite. Symptoms of Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF) include all of the symptoms of classic dengue plus marked damage to blood and lymph vessels, bleeding from nose, gums, or under the skin, resulting in purplish bruises. This form of dengue is more likely to cause death. The most severe and dangerous form of the disease is Dengue Shock Syndrome. Symptoms include all those for DHF plus fluids leaking from blood vessels, massive bleeding and shock due to very low blood pressure. This generally occurs if an infected person goes to the hospital too late and the disease has affected many organs. However, some people may still survive, provided they are admitted to the intensive care unit where extensive treatment will be provided. Persons suspected of having DF should see a doctor at once. There’s no specific medication to kill the virus but there’s no doubt that medical supervision saves lives, as with the administration of platelets. Most people will recover completely within about two weeks, but others experience several weeks to months of feeling tired and/ or depressed. To help with recovery, healthcare experts recommend getting plenty of bed rest, drinking lots of fluids and taking medicines to reduce fever, although some advise patients with DF not to take aspirin. For severe dengue symptoms, including shock and coma, early and aggressive emergency treatment with fluids and electrolyte replacement can be lifesaving. Some patients need transfusions to control bleeding. The mosquitoes that transmit the dengue virus often breed in used automobile tires, flower pots, old oil drums and other man-made containers like earthenware jars, metal drums, concrete cisterns and discarded plastic containers. The infected mosquitoes may also live and rest indoors, in closets and other dark places. Outside, they rest where it is cool and shaded. To prevent being bitten by the mosquito, avoid areas with standing water, wear long sleeve shirts, and long trousers or dresses during the daylight hours when the mosquito is most active. Other suggested preventive measures include the use of mosquito repellant sprays containing DEET, coils, electric vapor mats, window screens and mosquito nets. TheBigChilli

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Y O U R W H A T ’ S F O R

U L T I M A T E O N G U I D E M a r c h 1 4

What’s on pArt pPerformance pSport pFootball pMovies & Albums pBooks

Bruno Mars is coming to town on March 20. Page 80.

Disney fun

Disney on Ice returns with another fun-packed adventure Page 80

Muay Boran

Learn about the birth of Thai boxing at this newly sanctioned event Page 82

Charity golf

Help raise funds for charity and have a great time too Page 82 TheBigChilli 77


What’s On|Exhibitions

Art

8/3 Princess of Evil

GOOD and evil, beauty and bad – the nice and nasty always coincide in everyday life. Here, Thai artist Supamas Taveechotipart explores the meeting of these contrary forces in true gothic-style, creating nightmarish landscapes teeming with skulls, roses and a blend of surreal imagery. Number 1 Gallery, 919/1 The Silom Galleria, Silom Rd. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm 02 630 3381 :number1gallery.com

3/4 18/5

Follow(l) Me

FEATURING traditional woodcut prints, watercolour prints, and mixed-media collages, this vibrant exhibition by up and coming artist Kattliya Phantodee explores subjects such as love, desire, family, traveling, and solitude.

ARDEL Gallery of Modern Art (Boromrachachonnanee Rd.) Open Tues-Sat 10.30am-7pm; Sun 10.30am-5.30pm (closed Mon) 02 422 2092 :ardelgallery.com

UNTIL

16/4

The Beauty of Peace

WINDSWEPT Tibetan prayer flags, bright devotions of Boudhanath in Nepal, and saffron-robed monks in Thailand are just a few of the striking photographs to be found in this new exhibition by French national Daniel Cordonnier, whose innovative use of multiple exposure adds weight and intensity to images focused on Buddhist practices. Modern Gallery, 4.6 O.P. Garden, Charoen Krung 36. Open Mon-Sat 11am-7pm 02 238 6449

UNTIL Sides To Every Story 15/3 Two KRITSANA Chaikitwattana, one of Thailand’s

most thoughtful young artists, presents a series of paintings focused on dissonance – that rather disconcerting realm between fact and fiction, reality and illusion, spiritual and secular, and lost and found. Thavibu Gallery, Silom Galleria Building, Silom Rd. Open Mon-Sat 11am-7pm. 02 266 5454

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The State of Impermanence

25/3 27/4

PRINTMAKER Thamrongsak Nimanussornkul is at his abstract best in his latest exhibition – a series of silkscreen prints exploring Buddhism’s teachings about the uncertainty of life, birth, existence and death. Ardel’s Third Place Gallery (Sukhumvit 55, Thonglor Soi 10). Open Tues-Sat 10.30am7pm; Sun 10.30am-5.30pm (closed Mon) 02 422 2092 :ardelgallery.com


What’s On|Performance

Stage Bruno Mars

18/3

20/3

FEEL like not doing anything? Nothing at all? Join Bruno Mars in belting out his smash hit ode to lethargy, The Lazy Song, and any sluggishness you feel will soon melt away under the power of his pure pop energy. Factor in chart-toppers Just The Way You Are and Marry You, and dancing is inevitable. Impact Arena. Tickets range B2,000-B5,000 : thaiticketmajor.com

John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension

LEGENDARY guitarist and composer John McLaughlin (UK) is coming to town next month to play alongside his current and longest-standing band, The 4th Dimension, as well as host a special guitar clinic where he’ll impart his knowledge and skills. Known for using exotic scales and unconventional time signatures, McLaughlin placed 49th in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” (published 2003). M Theatre (New Pechburi Rd.) Tickets range B1,000-B5,000 (guitar clinic on March 17. B1,700 per person) : thaiticketmajor.com

Philip Fowke on piano

30/3

HELP raise funds for The Gift of Life Foundation and enjoy some great music by attending this special performance by English pianist Philip Fowke. Known for his many BBC Promenade Concert appearances, numerous recordings, and broad repertoire, Fowke has appeared alongside leading conductors in many of the world’s major concert halls. His Bangkok programme includes works by Chopin, Dohnanyi, Grieg, Moszkowski, Paderewski, and many more great pianists of the past. Starts 4pm. Sala Sudasiri Sobha,

: salasudasirisobha.com/#!concerts/c2nh

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27/3 30/3 Disney on Ice: Treasure Trove

MICKEY, Minnie, Goofy and Donald will slide onto the ice to take audiences on a fun-packed journey through 50 of Disney’s animated classics – from the very first full-length movies like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, right up to its latest feature film, Tangled. During the show’s run, one performance in English will be held on Mar 29 at 11am. Impact Arena. Tickets range B300-B2,500 : thaiticketmajor.com

30 Seconds to Mars

EXPECT epic soundscapes and catchy choruses galore when this awardwinning space rock band, fronted by Hollywood actor Jared Leto, brings its famously energetic live show to Bangkok. Highlights of the band’s output (which spans four albums) include This is War, Kings and Queens, and Up in the Air. BITEC Bangna. Tickets range B2,500-B3,500 : thaiticketmajor.com

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What’s On|Outdoor fun

Sport

14/3

Charity Golf Classic

FOR a great day of golf, look no further than the Fr. Joe Maier’s Human Development Foundation Charity Golf Classic. Now in its 19th year, the tournament is held at the Royal Golf & Country Club and played to a Best 2 Ball Scramble within team format (Noon shotgun start). What’s more, tournament organisers Bourbon Street Restaurant & Oyster Bar will provide a buffet at the course. Entry is B3,900, and proceeds from the event will benefit Fr. Joe Maier’s mercy Centre, under the patronage of HRH Princess Srirasmi (www.mercycentre.org). Royal Golf and Country Club, On Nuch Rd. :bourbonstbkk.com

Supersports 10 miles International Run

Amarin Outdoor Unlimited International Triathlon

HELD at Naresuan Army Camp, Cha-Am, the inaugural Amarin Outdoor Unlimited International Triathlon will feature two triathlon distances (sprint and standard), a duathlon, and team relay events. Cash prizes are up for grabs for the top five runners in the men’s category, and top three in the women’s category.

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Naresuan Army Camp, Cha-Am :ama-events.com

Laguna Phuket International Marathon

OVER 6,000 participants from over 50 countries are expected to take part in the ninth edition of this grueling annual run. Join them, and you’ll tackle a scenic course which begins and ends at Laguna Grove, close to the entrance of 8/6 Outrigger Laguna Phuket, taking you through local villages and pineapple and rubber plantations. Five options are on offer: marathon, half marathon, 10.5km run, 5km walk, and 2km kids run. Only three months left of training to go!

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WANT to enter a race event but aren’t fit enough to attempt a half-marathon? 16/3 Sign yourself up for this 10 mile run. Now in its second year, the popular event also features five mile and two mile categories so everyone can take part – no excuses! Starts & Finishes at Central World Ratchadamri Rd. :goadventureasia.com

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Not to miss!

Muay Boran World Championships

IF you get a kick out of Thai boxing then you shouldn’t miss this exciting competition in Ayutthaya. A newly sanctioned event, which will bring together teams of fighters from over 30 countries (including a British team being filmed by a BBC documentary crew), the competition will showcase Thai boxing as it was before it evolved into Muay Thai – an ancient form of battle called Muay Boran which, while it had punching and kicking elements, had a greater focus on throwing techniques. Several seminars about the history of Muay Boran will also be held, making this a must visit for anyone who’s interested in learning how Thailand’s world-famous martial art was born. :worldmuayboran.com


What’s On|Soccer

Football Focus BY PAUL HEWITT

Thai Premier League 2014 preview: The fans’ view Muangthong United

“IN the upcoming TPL 2014 season for Muangthong United, I personally think that we will not win the title this year, and will struggle to stay in the top four of the table. Overall team performance so far is still not as good as it should be; Teerasil and Jay Bothroyd are still yet to find sharpness in goal scoring. “Midfield is a major problem for MTU: possession and controlling the game need to be sorted out soon. I don’t really know if Scott Cooper [head coach] will be with us until the end of this season or not. Anyway, I will still support MTU all the way. “Lastly, good luck to every team in the TPL – all teams look stronger than ever before. It will be a close competition this year.”

THE 2014 THAI PREMIER LEAGUE AND LEAGUE ONE SEASONS ARE UPON US SO WE ASKED FANS OF FIVE CLUBS – THREE FROM THE CAPITAL, TWO FROM JUST DOWN THE COAST – HOW THEY THINK THEIR TEAM WILL GET ON THIS YEAR. AS YOU WILL SEE, CONFIDENCE AND POSITIVITY ARE IN SHORT SUPPLY!

Nat Yisunsri, @natdive

Singhtarua FC

“I AM entering into my fourth season as a Singhtarua supporter with considerable trepidation. “After 2013’s roller coaster ride ending in promotion on the last day of the season, my one fear was that we would enter the TPL with a lesser side than we concluded the previous campaign with. Unfortunately this seems to be the case. While other teams were signing players during December, Port was doing very little. The entire starting defense is gone along with midfielders Ali Diara, Ivan, and Patrick Reichart. About all that is left from 2013 are Leandro, Khrokrit, and some of the younger guys that played very little last year. “Signings were mainly some League One and Regional League players along with Hironori Saruta from Bangkok Glass and four Koreans I have never heard of. There were quite a few players that seemed of quality on trial, but none were signed. “One does not win in Thai football with just a contingent of good foreign players. A team must have a great core of Thai players with the foreigners simply adding the icing on the cake. “Sadly, it seems that Port will have neither this year. My expectations are low and with five teams going down I would be very surprised if we were not one of them. Hope I am wrong.”

Tommie Duncan

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Army United

“LAST year we finished in the dizzy heights of sixth, our best league finish since 2007. Instead of building on this success our team has been torn apart. “Our coach Mano Polking and his backroom staff, along with the talented Bjorn Lindemann and Jung Myong-Oh have moved on to a more professional set up at Suphanburi FC. Last season’s top scorer Aron da Silva and young goalkeeper Tossaporn Srirueng have also departed. With the backbone of our team gone, some fans are questioning those running the club. “In charge this year, ‘thanks’ to our new found partnership with King Power and Leicester City FC, we have Matt Elliott, a man with almost zero management experience. With a host of new signings and a poor showing in pre-season, it leads us to believe that this is going to be a very tough season. Anything but relegation will be greeted with open arms.” @Caple82


Sriracha-Banbung

“The 2014 season will see a different Sriracha FC and it’s heartbreaking for any supporter who has followed the club for years. All the players and coaches had to move to Pattaya United following a decision by the big-wigs of Chonburi FC. Seeing a player like Diego, who has been in service for the club for so many years and capped over 100 times for Sriracha, to play in different colours just hurts. But they all are professionals and have to do a job and fulfil contracts. “Not enough that all players and staff had to move, the side also got renamed to ‘Sriracha-Banbung’ and will have to play at Chonburi’s IPE Stadium. On top of that the squad is made up of under-17 academy players from Chonburi. Although the youngsters did well in their opening game, a 3-1 defeat away to Saraburi, I have no feelings left. How can I? The side is not even playing at the  place I call my ‘home away from home’ anymore.  “The youngsters will gain a lot of experience during the season, but surely will get relegated. And that is my only hope! With them relegated it could open the chance to have the side back under its old name and back in the town of Sriracha in 2015. “Playing in the Regional League – I wouldn’t care. I just want to have my club back – the weekends I spent with other fans, having some beers, fun and cheering our team which represents our ‘home.’” Sven Beyrich

Chonburi FC “WITH a new man at the helm, Chonburi’s 2014 campaign promises to be an interesting one. Japanese coach Masahiro Wada took over from Witthaya Laohkul in the close season and has brought with him a strong sense of optimism. “Things had gone a little stale under the former Thailand national boss but the 49 year old’s appointment has been like a breath of fresh air throughout the club. He seems to go about his business in a quiet, effective way and already appears to have the respect of the players. The fans too give the impression of being a lot more confident and relaxed than in recent years. “However, a note of caution must be added to this current feeling of bonhomie. The Sharks’ biggest concern will be the lack of depth in the squad. Only six new players arrived during the transfer window, while eighteen exited – either on loan or via permanent transfers. This leaves the current playing roster looking paper thin. Injuries to one or two key personnel could lead to selection problems as the season progresses. “Hopefully, funds will be made available for Wada-san to strengthen when the window reopens at the midway stage and that we are still in a position to challenge for one of the major domestic honours that have eluded us since 2010.” Dale Farrington, Webmaster: www.clubwebsite.co.uk/chonburifc

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What’s On|Movies & Music

Screen 27/3

TARZAN

EDGAR Rice Burrough’s classic tale of a brave jungle boy raised by gorillas swings back onto the big screen this month in family-friendly fashion with motion-capture animation and a voice cast headed by teen favourites Kellan Lutz (Twilight) as Tarzan, and Spencer Locke (Resident Evil) as Jane.

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21/3 DIVERGENT

IN a dystopian future where people are divided into distinct groups based on their personalities, teenager Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) lives in fear. She’s just discovered that she’s a Divergent – meaning her mind can’t be pigeonholed – and this puts her on the hit-list of nasty authoritarian leaders who want to wipe out her kind. Can she find out what makes Divergents so dangerous before it’s too late?

ENEMY

JAKE Gyllenhaal reteams with director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) for this sexy and surreal thriller based on Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago’s 2004 novel, The Double. Adam Bell (Gyllenhaal), a glum, disheveled history professor, spots his doppelganger in a movie and decides to seek him out. The identical men meet and their lives become bizarrely and irrevocably intertwined.

Movie screenings are subject to change. Keep up to date at majorcineplex.com

CAPTIAN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

THINGS are about to get cold and miserable for Captain Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), whose plans for a quiet life post alien invasion of New York (watch The Avengers) are thrown into disarray when a new threat arrives in the form of an unexpected and formidable enemy – the winter soldier (Sebastian Stan). Expect action and spectacle galore as Cap’ teams up with S.H.I.E.L.D. colleagues Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) to bring this new big baddie down.

MEMORY LANE

New albums

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WE ARE SCIENTISTS TV en Français (Release date: Mar 4)

GEORGE MICHAEL Symphonica (Release date: Mar 17)

ELBOW The Take Off And Landing Of Everything (Release date: Mar 10)

BLACK LIPS Underneath The Rainbow (Release date: Mar 18)

METRONOMY Love Letters (Release date: Mar 10)

FOSTER THE PEOPLE Supermodel (Release date: Mar 18)

SEPTEMBER GIRLS Cursing The Sea (Release date: Mar 11)

KYLIE MINOGUE Kiss Me Once (Release date: Mar 18)

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TOPPING THE UK CHARTS MARCH 1974

1. Terry Jacks – Seasons In The Sun 2. Gary Glitter – Remember Me This Way 3. Hot Chocolate – Emma 4. Glitter Band – Angel Face 5. Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye – You Are Everything 6. Chi-Lites – Homely Girl 7. New Seekers – I Get A little Sentimental Over You 8. Sunny – Doctor’s Orders 9. Paul McCartney & Wings – Jet 10. Queen – Seven Seas of Rhye


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Just for fun

Entertainment|Jokes

Humour Bon mots from the mouth of a pro. This month: Woody Allen

On life and death

On religion

• I am not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens. • Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon. • I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose. • You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.

• What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet. • I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it’s the government. • If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank. • If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.

On relationships

On sex

• The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have. • In my house I’m the boss, my wife is just the decision maker. • Basically my wife was immature. I’d be at home in the bath and she’d come in and sink my boats. • Talk is what you suffer through so you can get to sex.

• Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night. • Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go, it’s pretty damn good. • Love is the answer... but while you’re waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty interesting questions. • Sex between two people is a beautiful thing; between five, it’s fantastic.

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Social p Last month’s best events in pictures

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Social|Last Month’s Best Events

Rugby’s a winneR

A WEEKEND of top quality rugby was enjoyed by expats and locals young and old when the Oakwood Bangkok International Rugby Tens 2014 tournament stormed onto the pitches of Bangkok Patana School. Contested by men’s, women’s and junior teams from across the globe, the tournament also brought in celebrity players, with former Springbok captain Bobby Skinstad, former All Blacks player Caleb Ralph, and former Wallaby player Warrick Waugh among the big names sighted this year. For more info see: bangkokrugby10s.net.

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Social|Last Month’s Best Events

Latino spectacuLar AFRO-Latino music, salsa dancing, and innovative cocktails set the scene for a great night of partying when Bacardi hosted its glamorous ‘True Rum Night’ at Fifty Fifty Restaurant on Thonglor. Special guest on the night was Bacardi’s Global Brand Ambassador, David Cordoba, who wowed guests with his bartending skills and exclusive selection of legacy rum cocktails.

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saMBaL’s perFect pairinG GOURMET cheeses and ďŹ ne wines from Chile were enjoyed by a large crowd of foodies at Sambal Bar & Grill, Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel and Towers, when the restaurant hosted the February edition of its popular Cheese and Wine evening (held the third Friday of every month).

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Social|Last Month’s Best Events

SpeakeaSy Friday at Mondo HILTON Sukhumvit Bangkok, Sukhumvit 24, marked the launch of its new whiskey-fuelled ‘SpeakEasy Friday’ promotion with a party at the hotel’s Mondo Restaurant. Held the last Friday of each month, the promotion offers selected whiskey and whiskey cocktails at B250 per glass, plus tapas at special prices.

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Mixing in The gardens THE Danish-Thai Chamber of Commerce hosted a “B-Schools Alumni Mixer” at The Gardens Restaurant, between Sukhumvit Sois 59 and 61, where visitors were entertained by special guest speaker Mr. Fred Mouawad, a serial Entrepreneur and founder of Mouawad Jewelry.

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Social|Last Month’s Best Events

Dream networking OVER 140 business people ventured to Dream Hotel for the January edition of the Movers & Shakers Corporate Networking Event, sponsored by Kingdom Property. Held each month in a different location, the events offer a great platform for executives to meet like-minded people while enjoying tasty snacks and free-flow drinks.

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A touch of Venice in PAttAyA THE Venetian Signature Condo Resort Pattaya was launched with a preview event at its sales gallery, where guests enjoyed music by the Romance Jazz Band and servings of Venetian Gelato Ice Cream. The project is being developed by the Blue Sky Group.

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Social|Last Month’s Best Events

Valentine’s with a twist

FOUR Points by Sheraton Bangkok, Sukhumvit 15, was the setting for two very different events on Valentine’s Day. Love was in the air at amBar rooftop, where couples enjoyed dinner and drinks and romantic music by Jay Veerayano, while down at BeerVault, guitarist and singer Lee Shamrock headlined the ‘Anti-Valentine’s Day Party’ – a fun-packed evening of games, activities and drinks deals offered by the hotel’s ‘naughty little cupid.’

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RotaRy gets cooking ROTARY Club Bangkok South recently held its final annual cook-off at Witch’s Tavern in Thonglor, where four teams selected at random went head to head in sizzling fashion. The event also doubled as a farewell party for the pub, which, after 30 years of service, is set to close down.

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Social|Last Month’s Best Events

Wax opens in style

SOI 11’s latest nightclub, Wax, celebrated its grand opening with three nights of parties featuring cutting-edge dance music spun by 14 of the city’s hottest DJs. Keep up to date with the club’s upcoming events at: facebook. com/WaxBangkok.

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Social|Around town

24th July opens in RaJbuRi HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha presided over the grand opening of the ‘24th July’ store at The Scenery Vintage Farm, Suan Peung, Rajburi. The store is operated by the Napa Foundation, which was established by HRH to help disadvantaged people seek career opportunities.

investing in the uK

PROPERTY buyers and journalists were given a sneak peak of The Nova Building, a new property development in Victoria, London, at a press conference held at the W Bangkok. Offering a prime investment opportunity in central London, The Nova will offer 170 luxurious apartments including 24 hour concierge services, a huge rooftop garden which overlooks Buckingham Palace, private cinema, business centre, and more luxury amentities. For more info see www.landsecuritieslondon.com.

ChaRity day With aetas AETAS Hotels & Residences, led by Managing Director Mr. Surachet Worawongwasu, organised activities for children at the Human Development Foundation – Mercy Centre (HDF) in Klong Toey, Bangkok. The AETAS team donated colouring books, crayons, toys, and a selection of tasty cookies.

thailand tRavel shoWCase

HOTELIERS, restaurateurs, travel agents, and bargain hunters were out in force for the Thai International Travel Fair 2014, which brought together products and services both international and domestic under the concept of Hi! Summer, at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center Bangkok. TheBigChilli 101


Social|Around Last Month’s town Best Events

Gempeace’s Fairytale weddinG

THE Fashion Hall of The Emporium Department Store was transformed into a lavish fairytale wedding reception for Gempeace Group’s “Diamond Wedding Anniversary Celebration.” Held in association with The Emporium Department Store, TSL Auto Corporation, and Finale Wedding Studio, the celeb-studded event showcased wedding garments and jewelry worth over one billion baht.

aston martin opens second BanGkok showroom

ASTON Martin expanded its operations in Thailand by opening its second showroom in Bangkok. The new operation, by Heritage Motor Sales & Services (Thailand) Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of the Master Group Corporation (Asia), takes the form of a state-of-the-art 400 square metre showroom at Rama 3 Road. Read more about the British luxury sports car on page 22.

a royal reception For oasis spa

PAKIN Ployphicha and Toby Allen, the Managing Directors of Oasis Spa (Thailand), received the coveted Howe Luxury Service Award 2013 from the hand of Her Royal Highness Princess Srirasmi, Royal Consort to His Royal Highness Crown Prince MahaVajiralongkorn. In operation for over a decade, Oasis Spa now has 10 branches in Thailand spread between Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Phuket. 102

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Diplomats p Meet the people uniting nations

^

HE VĂ­tezslav Grepl

The Czech ambassador talks about his work, responsibilities, trade relations and personal life Page 104 TheBigChilli 103


Diplomats

Czech Ambassador prepares for 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Thailand As the Kingdom of Thailand and the Czech Republic celebrate four decades of diplomatic ties this month, His Excellency Vítˇezslav Grepl talks to Maxmilian Wechsler about his work, responsibilities, trade relations and personal life

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MR Grepl is among the most accomplished diplomats residing in Bangkok, but a career in foreign services was not something he planned for at an early age. He had already compiled a diverse list of experiences before getting his chance to join the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when the ruling communist dictatorship dissolved in 1989.   He explains: “I was born in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. I have an older sister and a twin brother who is ten minutes my senior. I was raised in a highly cultural and sports-loving family with a strong orientation towards the arts and intellectual and physical pursuits. My father was a pianist in Prague Conservatory and my mother was a kindergarten teacher. They both worked very hard.   “I studied the Russian and Finnish languages, literature and history at the Faculty of Philosophy of the prestigious Charles University in Prague, one of the oldest in Europe, founded exactly 666 years ago in 1348.   “After graduation I took my first permanent job, as an editor in the Albatros publishing house, specializing in children’s literature. I still think that was the best job of my life – very creative and taking place in the most kind and positively responsive environment. Unfortunately it didn’t pay that well.   “Anyway, I always wanted to travel and work abroad. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, the world opened

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to us, including new job opportunities. I did not hesitate to join the foreign services.   “I started my new career at the lowest level as a desk officer in the MFA. My first posting abroad was Finland, the country of my dreams since my student days. After five great years in Finland I got an offer to become a director of the MFA’s Asian Department. At first I hesitated to accept the offer as, being so European oriented, I did not know much about Asia, but I accepted the challenge and I have to say that an absolutely fantastic world opened to me – one full of extraordinarily interesting places.   “I find Asian countries colourful, attractive and exotic. I am fascinated by the historic evolution of their political structures and economic development. There is also great diversity of nature, culture and ethnicity in the distinguished heirs of old Asian civilizations.   “All of this made me want to make my life closely associated with Asia, a decision I’ve never regretted,” said Mr Grep. “In the year 2000 I became ambassador to Malaysia and after four years, which is the normal term of rotation, I left for China, where I spent five years. That is a usual term in the most important countries.   “I dare to say that my five years in China were somehow equal to ten years in Europe. This became the experience of my life in so many aspects. Everything there – its political, economic, social and cultural development has been so


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Diplomats accelerated and has fully drawn everyone inside. So much was happening every day! It required an enormous amount of energy and concentration of me.   “At the end of my term, I felt quite exhausted. That is why the term for ambassadors has a limit. With a new ambassador fresh ideas and new energy for development of diplomatic ties usually appear.”   After his time in China, Mr Grepl spent three years stationed in Prague as the director general of the MFA’s Political Section dealing with development cooperation for all non-European countries. “I dealt with political issues related to Asia, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and North America and I took care of around 50 foreign ambassadors and supervised 55 Czech envoys representing us outside of Europe. It was extremely challenging but also very rewarding.   “I travelled to many places all around the globe and met so many people. It showed me our common world in all its complexity – its beauty as well as its problems. When the time came again to move abroad in my diplomatic career and I was asked where my dreams would lead me, I simply pointed to the Kingdom of Thailand. And here I am.”   The ambassador vividly and happily recalls his first visit to the country 15 years ago. “The winter of 1998 was particularly strong and long in Finland. My wife got exhausted by the frost, snow and ice and asked me to take here to a nice, and especially warm, place full of sun, greenery and colourful flowers. I suggested Thailand, and Thailand it was. It also was my first trip out of Europe. This trip was probably the decisive moment in my career.   “Ever since then I have been returning to Asia more so than Europe, and my family also began to associate their lives predominantly with this massive, vibrant and dynamic continent, which became the new centre of gravity of our world.”  

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Cementing Czech-Thai relations

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  As the ambassador of the Czech Republic to Thailand, a big part of Mr Grepl’s duty here is to promote the relatively small country in central Europe. This is made easier by the fact that a surprising number of Thais have visited and fallen in love with his homeland and its capital of Prague.   It’s also well known to many Thais for famous personalities such as the brilliant composers Bedˇrich Smetana and Antonín Dvoˇrák; courageous leaders like Alexander Dubˇcek, whose attempt to reform the country’s communist system was crushed by Warsaw Pact armies in August 1968; and former President Václav Havel, whose efforts contributed to the collapse of the communist regime in December 1989; and also great athletes like distance runner Emil Zátopek, and tennis champions Ivan Lendl and Martina Navrátilová.   The Czech Republic is also known in Thailand for fine products ranging from Bohemia Crystal to Škoda passenger cars. It also produces the Aero L-39 Albatros, a highperformance jet trainer aircraft in service with the Thai Air Force, and CZ pistols, which are especially popular with the Thai police.   The Kingdom of Thailand and the Czech Republic established diplomatic relations on 15 March, 1974. Both the Czech Embassy in Bangkok and Thai embassy in Prague have prepared exclusive events to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations.   “Czech-Thai contacts go back quite far. Detailed information about the Kingdom of Siam was brought to the people of the Czech lands in the 17th century by Jesuit missionaries. After the establishment of the independent Czechoslovak Republic in 1918 economic relations started to flourish and Czech companies like Bata, Škoda and Zbrojovka Brno became strong in the region of Southeast Asia.   “In 1989, the year of democratic change in Czechoslovakia and the end of the communist regime, a new era of Czech-Thai relations began. Thailand soon became a favourite destination for Czech tourists and businessmen. The Czech and Thai governments launched numerous joint activities and a new basis for political relations was established.”   An embassy of the Czech Republic in Thailand was opened when diplomatic relations were established in 1974. The current location of the embassy is on Ploenchit Road close to the Conrad and Plaza Athenee hotels. “A medium-sized foreign mission by our standards, the embassy is one of the most important Czech embassies in Asia covering Thailand,


Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia,” said Mr Grepl, explaining that although the Czech Republic opened an embassy in Phnom Penh last December and plans to open one in Yangon very soon, for the time being he remains the ambassador accredited with the governments of all these countries.   “There are altogether 15 people working at the embassy in Bangkok, both Czechs and Thais. We make a very good team. I personally meet every one of our staff every day and talk to my people. I try to make completely clear to everyone what we are doing and why, and what is expected from all of us. Everyone here works hard.   “I believe in encouraging my people and acknowledging their efforts, and I get a very good response from them. That is also why they don’t shy away from work when a job has to be done. We have a lot of fun while working, too.   “I believe the Thai spirit makes this heartfelt and warm working environment possible. It is a profound pleasure to work with all my people, they are such a good team.   “As for my duties and responsibilities as ambassador, generally speaking the main obligation is to develop friendly, positive and mutually advantageous relations in our respective countries. This is based on respect towards the host country´s territorial integrity, political system, religious traditions, basic values and so on.   “Needless to say, an ambassador is primarily sent abroad to defend the interests of his country. An ambassador is a kind of bridge between the governments of two nations whose responsibility is to develop cooperation in all possible areas – politics, economics, trade, defense, culture, education, environment, science and technology, sports and so on,” Mr Grepl said.   “I actively look for new options for the development of mutual relations. An ambassador not only runs the embassy, he or she must also take part in a large number of events and meet with heads of state and highly ranked people in the central government or parliament and, during visits outside the capital, also the leading persons in the provinces. As ambassador I normally accompany important visitors from my country. I am responsible for overseeing the image of the Czech Republic in Thailand.   “Of course, an ambassador also has responsibility towards his country´s nationals who are in the territory of the host country. This role is usually more visible in times of emergency.   “I regret to say that so far I have travelled outside Bangkok less than I would have liked. The main reason is preoccupation with the opening of our embassies in Yangon and Phnom Penh. That is why I have visited relatively few places, like Chiang Mai,

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The ambassador playing ice hockey in Bangkok, and cycling in Lumpini Park

Chiang Rai, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Hua Hin, Phuket, Pattaya.   “With the opening of the embassies in Cambodia and Myanmar I expect to have more time to travel to different Thai provinces and see this picturesque and beautiful country. Travel is the best way to know what it has to offer.   “Today, tens of thousands of Czechs come to visit Thailand every year and the volume of trade is dynamically increasing on both sides. Relations between the two countries are developing successfully with no major obstacles. At the same time the Czech Republic has become known among many Thais as an interesting place to visit, and their number is increasing every year.   “According to my information and the Immigration Bureau of Thailand, altogether 32,928 Czech nationals visited Thailand in 2012. I haven’t got the final figures for 2013 but I expect a similar number of arrivals. As for Thais visiting the Czech Republic, the number was somewhere around 40,000 in 2013, which is approximately 10% more than in 2012. There are over 200 Czechs living in Thailand on a long-term basis, whereas around 700 Thais are currently staying in the Czech Republic.”   Mr Grepl said the core of Czech-Thai relations lies in trade, but there are also strong bonds in the areas of economy, defense, tourism, education and agriculture. “Our bilateral relations are extremely friendly and mutually advantageous. Thailand continues to be the largest trading partner of the Czech Republic among ASEAN member states and Czech companies regularly participate at trade fairs in Thailand. Thai companies take part at the International Engineering Fair in Brno, the biggest trade fair of its kind in Central Europe. It has a long history and tradition.”   Since 2004 the Czech Republic has become an active member of the European Union and Mr Grepl strongly believes that the free trade agreement between Thailand and the European Union currently being negotiated will result in further growth of bilateral trade between Thailand and the Czech Republic.   “I am convinced that this agreement will bring clear benefits to both parties. An important part of building relations is creating opportunities for the people of our countries to get to know each other, share knowledge and experiences and learn

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Diplomats from each other. I am pleased to see that there exist direct links between universities in the Czech Republic and Thailand. There is cooperation in research and development and also student exchange programs.   “We are very happy that Thai students often choose universities in the Czech Republic. Many of them study under the Erasmus Mundus Programme. And on the other hand young Czechs also come to study at universities in Thailand.”   Asked about high-level visits between the two countries, Mr Grepl said: “In order to record the most important visit from Thailand to then Czechoslovakia we have to go 80 years back, to the state visit of His Majesty the King Prajadhipok, Rama VII, in 1934. On the other side, the visit of Czech President Václav Havel to Thailand and his meeting with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX, in 1994 has been the most important political event of our modern relations.   “Last year was rather significant in terms of strengthening bilateral ties. In January the former Czech minister of industry and trade, Martin Kuba, visited Thailand and an agreement on economic cooperation between our two governments was signed. In June, Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol Suwannathat, the then Thai minister of defense, visited the Czech Republic and signed a memorandum of understanding that will allow closer cooperation in the area of defence and security.   “In September we welcomed in our country an official delegation headed by (now caretaker) Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Surapong Tovichakchaikul, who among others presided over the first session of the Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation between the Czech Republic and the Kingdom of Thailand. We have ambitious plans for exchange of high level visits this year, too,” the ambassador said.   “There is hardly anything that I dislike in Thailand, outside of occasionally getting caught in traffic jams in Bangkok. But otherwise Thailand is a charming and hospitable country full of warm, polite and helpful people. What I really appreciate here is, that even though I am quite busy at work, I can still keep a very fine balance between my working and private life.   “My quality of life in Thailand has been great since the first moment I arrived, no doubt about that. You can find everything you needs for a good life here. The cities are fairly developed, but not overdeveloped. You can be pampered in the most comfortable places you can imagine, and you find here unique modernity, both progressive and comfortable, combined with the charm and tradition of the past.   “I personally appreciate all of this and that’s why it was no trouble to move to such a different environment. The beauty of Thailand is in its admirable diversity. Anyone can find what he or she likes. Generally speaking, this country has been very

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good to me. I have even started to smile more than before [the ambassador is well known as a jovial person], probably under the influence of the many Thai people around me who never scrimp on smiles. Simply put, I am a happy man in the ‘Land of Smiles.’   “What I really appreciate here, as do most visitors, is Thai cuisine. It is a phenomenon around the world. I even made a New Year’s resolution that I would learn to prepare the most delicious Thai dishes. I am going to take some classes to master them very soon. In fact I already took my first class in Prague, from my extremely kind and patient, mentor and ‘master chef,’ HE Vitavas Srivihok, the Thai ambassador to the Czech Republic. Our first joint cooking session was so much fun! That was a great encounter with Thai culture, even though it did not happen in Thailand but in the heart of Europe!   “I have been to Thailand for just a little more than a year, so I believe most of the great and memorable moments here are still waiting. However, there was an event which I very much like to recall. It was the presentation of my Letters of Credentials to the hands of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. The event was held on the beautiful premises of Amhara Royal Palace in a highly ceremonial but also very warm and human manner,” Mr Grepl said.   “Cooking is for me the best way to fight the stress which comes with my job. I close the door to the kitchen, turn on some music and together with my son David, we cook and chat and sip some drinks and have fun. Then in two or three hours a tasty lunch or dinner is ready to be served... The people around us appreciate that very much and we enjoy ourselves at the same time.   “I also do sports to get some mental relaxation from the hustle and bustle of city life. Sometimes I skip lunch and go biking in Lumpini Park, which usually charges me with new, clean energy.   “I also play ice hockey in Bangkok, something many people in Europe would never believe is possible. We have a lot of fun and play for good causes. For instance, two weeks ago I played on the team of the World against the team of Canada to collect money for the Thai Red Cross. I also like to play tennis but I haven’t had enough time for that recently. Sports have played an important role in my life. They have taught me perseverance, both mental and physical, to respect opponents and to play fairly, by the rules.   “As for other hobbies, I like to read books and watch films and I enjoy an occasional cigar. I am also a serious collector of old postage stamps, and I collect originals of rare prints from the 16th portraits.   “I am very fond of music and I listen to all kinds. As my father used to take me to so many concerts in Prague, I am fond of classical music. But I also like to listen to jazz, rock and pop music which was popular in my youth, and with some exceptions to the music of my son’s generation, too.”


HUA HIN

Cha Am • Pranburi • And beyond...

Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas is offering a ‘Red Hot Deal’ this month. Page 112.

News & deals

Hua Hin’s hottest promotions and deals await inside Page 110

Summer spa

Enjoy a thorough pampering with Shine Spa’s special deal Page 110

Wine dinner Experience Broadway tunes and fine wines at Putahracsa Resort Page 112

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Hu aH i n

N e ws and Deals

Innovative cocktails at ESCAPE THE recently opened Red Coral Restaurant & Lantern Bar at ESCAPE Hua Hin Hotel has launched a new range of cocktails specially created by Thai mixologist Niks Anuman-Rajadhon, owner of the well-known Vice Versa cocktail catering company. Among the selection are Hua Hin inspired blends like ESCAPE Delight and Red Coral, as well as new takes on cocktail classics such as Cinnamon Beach Caipirissima, and Piña Colada. ☎ 032 519 061 :escape-hotel.com

Lamb specials at Rest Detail

The Market now open THE new Market Restaurant at Hua Hin Market Village is now open for business offering a wide range of international, Italian and Thai cuisine, with highlights such as Salt and pepper squid, Steak sandwich, Thai style grilled beef salad, and cream-topped waffles. Spacious and modern, the restaurant is a great spot for a leisurely breakfast or a laid-back, wine-fuelled dinner with friends. Open daily 9am-10pm. ☎ 081 174 4647

AUSSIE lamb is the flavour of the next three months at Rest Detail Hotel’s Rest Scene Restaurant, which, until the end of May, is offering a special menu of international and local dishes made using the prized Australian meat. Enjoy the dishes daily from 6.30pm-10pm. ☎ 032 547 733 :restdetailhotel.com

Summer spa treat UNTIL Apr 30, Shine Spa at Sheraton Hua Hin is offering a ‘Shine Blissful Summer’ spa package that offers head to toe pampering for B4,250 per person. The 150-minute treatment includes Spring bathing and scrub with Thai traditional herbs; Traditional Thai massage or Aroma massage; and a Thai herbal facial. ☎ 032 708 000 :sheratonhuahin.com

Maxine Kuo Live at the Dusit JOIN violin virtuoso Maxine Kuo and her Thai musical companions as they kick-off a whistle-stop tour of the Kingdom with a performance at Dusit Thani Hua Hin on Mar 21 (registration at 6pm; concert starts at 6.30pm). The programme includes Mozart’s Oboe Quartet, Flute Quartet in D Major, and Clarinet Quintet. B500 per person (for ticket only); B1,500++ per person including post-concert Thai Market Night dinner buffet; and B1,600++ per person including post-concert four-course Italian set dinner. ☎ 032 520 009 :dusit.com/dusit-thani/dusit-thani-huahin

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N ews and Deals

Social events at Banyan Golf Club GOLFERS and foodies will find plenty to please them this month at Banyan Golf Club Hua Hin. Teeing off the fun, on Mar 12 at 10.30am, is the Power Tee Competition (B2,100 including green fee, caddie, and post golf snacks). Then, on Mar 22, the club’s signature ‘Golf & Wine Dinner’ will offer a round of golf followed by a gourmet meal. Tee times from 12.30pm. B4,300 for golf and dinner with wine; B2,100 for dinner only. ☎ 032 616 200 :banyanthailand.com

Dune offers summer deal

Broadway Wine Dinner at Putahracsa PUTAHRACSA Hua Hin is joining forces with Mondo Vino wine bar this month to host a five-course wine dinner inspired by Broadway’s most popular hits. Held at the hotel’s Oceanside Beach Club & Restaurant on March 29, the event will also feature a live performance of the hits by Di Notte. B1,999 per person (starts 6.30pm). ☎ 032 531 470 :oceansidebeachclub.com

Relax in bliss at Villa Maroc LOOKING for the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city? Check out Villa Maroc Resort’s stress-busting ‘Secret of Spa Indulgence’ package. Available till the end of the month, the deal offers luxury accommodation, breakfast for two, an ‘Energizing Hammam’ spa treatment, and afternoon Moroccan tea. Rates start at B5,800 per night. ☎ 032 630 771 :villamarocresort.com

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FROM now until Apr 30, Dune Boutique Hotel is offering a ‘Sweet Summer’ package featuring room rates ranging from B8,900 for a Superior room, to B17,800 for a Pool Villa Suite. Rates include breakfast for two, and two free scoops of ice-cream from the popular Eighteen Below ice-cream shop. ☎ 032 515 051-3

Luxury for less in Pranburi THE luxurious Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas is offering a ‘Red Hot Deal’ for stays booked by Apr 30 and completed by Jun 30. Rates start at just B8,000++ in a Pool Villa inclusive of gourmet breakfast buffet for two. ☎ 032 708 080 :sheratonhuahinpranburivillas.com


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H u aH in Pr om oti on

Exquisite tastes at Centara

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Two exclusive dinners await at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin

FINE wines and gourmet cuisine are set to get tongues wagging and palates salivating in two special dinner events hosted at Hua Hin’s most famous beachfront hotel this month. First up, on Sunday March 9, is the Frescobaldi Exclusive Wine Dinner. Served from 7pm at the Palm Terrace, this special event will feature a fivecourse set menu specially prepared by Chef Gael Lardiere to pair with Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi’s finest Italian wines – namely Frescobaldi Pomino Bianco 2012; Frescobaldi Remole Rosso 2011; Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti 2010;

Frescobaldi Nippozano Riserva Chianti Ruffina 2009; and Fattoria Le Pupille Solalto Toscana Bianco 2006. On hand to explain more about the wines on the night will be Italian wine expert Erika Ribaldi, an affable oenophile with a cracking sense of humour and superb knowledge of Frescobaldi wines and the wine industry in general. The dinner is great value at just B1,900 net per person. Next up, on Friday March 28, is The Confrérie du Sabre d’Or – An exclusive Champagne dinner by sword. Yes, by sword.

Limited seats are available for both events; advance reservation is required.

What this means is that you will get the chance to learn the ancient art of ‘sabrage’ – opening a Champagne bottle with a sabre – which is very impressive, when done right. Held at the Railway Restaurant from 7pm, this highly anticipated Black Tie event will feature a five-course menu paired with Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne. The dinner is B5,500 net per person (includes a bottle of Champagne to sabre), and guest of honour on the night will be Grand Maitre Jean-Claude Jalloux, Founder of The Confrérie du Sabre d’Or of France.

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Chinese New Year at Centara THE Year of the Horse was welcomed in fine fashion at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, which celebrated the occasion with a grand buffet dinner featuring Asian and Chinese Specialties, extravagant performances, and a spectacular fireworks show.

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H u aH i n

S ocial

Rest Detail shows its party spirit REST Detail Hotel Hua Hin turned up the party heat last month with a ‘Sexy Boys and Girls’ prize giving night, where Khun Paithoon Boonkongchuen, the hotel’s Managing Director, awarded his staff for their loyalty and hard work over the past five years.

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Accommodation

Hua Hin Where to sleep

The Cape Nidhra Hotel, Hua Hin

Villa Maroc Resort Pranburi

■ Located in the heart of Hua Hin right next to the beach, this luxury hotel combines comfort and convenience for the perfect escape. Each suite is well-furnished in stylish décor and each has its own private swimming pool. General facilities include a fitness center, a swimming pool, steam rooms, spa, library, and meeting functions. Rocks Restaurant serves up a wide range of international dishes and local favourites, while the beachside bar, and the cigar and whisky bar, mix up some excellent cocktails.

■ Inspired by Morocco’s distinctive architecture, Villa Maroc combines Thai beachside living and service with some of the most luxurious furnishings from the North African Kingdom, making it a unique addition to Southeast Asia’s accommodation scene. The resort is located in Pranburi approximately 30 kilometers south of Hua Hin town. You can tuck into European, Middle Eastern and Thai cuisine at Casablanca, enjoy cocktails and shisha pipes at the Sisha Bar, relax in bliss at Sherazade Hammam & Spa, and much more.

97/2 Petchkasem Road, Hua Hin Tel: 032 516 600

165/3 Moo 3 Paknampran, Pranburi, Tel: 032 630 771 email: rsvn@villamarocresort.com

Baan Bayan

Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa

■ This fine resort features one of Hua Hin’s finest examples of early 1900’s architectural style. The beachfront resort has been faithfully restored to its former glory by the family who once lived there. Guests staying at Baan Bayan can experience the glory of a bygone era in its colonial style structure, yet without sacrificing the modern day comforts and amenities. It has 21 rooms comprising of three suites, 10 sea view rooms and 16 rooms with views of the courtyard or tropical garden.

■ This imposing resort in the centre of Hua Hin is regarded as one of the best family hotels in the region. Accommodation features comfortable rooms and suites, providing guests with a living space that exhibits contemporary Thai design flair and good in-room amenities. There are also 11 Spa Suites available. The awardwinning White Lotus on the 17th floor of the Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa offers sky-high dining at down to earth prices.

119 Petchkasem Road. Tel: 032 533 544

33 Naresdamri Road. Tel: 032 538 999

Putahracsa Hua Hin

S’MOR Spa Village & Resort

■ This stylish resort skillfully marries Mediterranean-influenced villa accommodation with the best contemporary Thai interior design flair to create a unique experience. Putahracsa is a secluded sanctuary with 36 SilkSand rooms bordering a magnificent swimming pool and mini beach. Interiors emphasize the ‘sleek and chic’ approach to modern design. The Oceanbed Villas are truly exceptional, providing some of the highest quality accommodation and service in Hua Hin. The resort features a day spa, and superb dining opportunities at Oceanside Beach Club & Restaurant.

■ S’MOR Spa Village & Resort is always a great choice for a relaxing holiday. Located in the center of Hua Hin yet in the peaceful area overlooking the Khao Takiab Mountain with a long beautiful beach, this al-fresco resort features six bungalows and eight bedrooms, each well-equipped with all the mod-cons you could need. The seafront bungalow offers you a choice of private outdoor Jacuzzi or indoor Jacuzzi. The resort’s spa is exclusive and distinctive with an extensive list of treatments including traditional Thai massage. For eats, the beachfront S’MOR Spa Beach Bar & Restaurant serves a wide variety of international and local cuisines.

22/65 Nahb Kaehat Road. Tel: 032 531 470

122/64 Takiab Road, Hua Hin Tel: 032 536 800

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Accommodation

Hua Hin Where to eat Papa John’s Grill Restaurant & Beer Garden

La Paillotte

■ In business for over 13 years, this popular diner has established a large and loyal clientele of locals and returning holidaymakers. The secret to the restaurant’s success is the owner’s welcoming nature and an extensive menu of good honest well cooked food. Papa John’s is a spacious open-sided restaurant with a bar area ideal for pre-dinner drinks while you survey the excellent selection of dishes on the menu. Try the fillet, T-bone or rib-eye, each very reasonably priced. The ideal venue for European comfort food and a drink with friends.

■ This charming French restaurant is the ideal place to enjoy an evening of fine food in relaxed surroundings. The fresh and colourful décor brings to mind citrus-scented Mediterranean evenings, as do the excellent range of aperitifs, wines, beers and digestifs. Although the culinary roots of La Paillote’s cuisine are classically French, the kitchen team enhances a rich culinary tradition with contemporary touches. An a la carte menu and nine set menus are available. Open daily from 11am till late.

1/54 Soi Moobaan Khao Takiab, Nong Kae, Hua Hin Tel: 032 514 295

174/1 Naresdamri Road, 77110 Tel: 032 521025

Chom Talay

■ This delightful beachfront restaurant is a great spot for alfresco dining. Pushed up against the water’s edge it has an easy going charm, good food and drink. The menu features a wide selection of delicious seafood dishes. Of note is the stir fried mud crab with X.O. sauce. A piquant tom yam with fresh prawns, pineapple and the flesh of young coconut offers an interesting variation on a classic dish. Open from 11am till 10pm. Phetkasem Road, Hua Hin, (next to the airport). Tel: 032 547 253-4

White Lotus

■ The Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa’s signature Chinese restaurant serves up a wide range of authentic Szechuan and Cantonese dishes, including a signature Roast Peking Duck with pancakes, which is a must try. Factor in the restaurant’s elegant contemporary design and breathtaking views of the ocean and mountains, and it’s no surprise that it never fails to impress first time visitors. Dinner is served Tues-Sun 6pm-10.30pm; Dim Sum Lunch on Sat, Sun and Public Holidays from 11.30am-2.30pm. Tel: 032 538 999 Email: fb.huahin@hilton.com

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Mcfarland House

■ FAMOUS for its history, McFarland House is a two-storey open-sided traditional Thai house set on the beachfront. This casual bar and dining pavilion offers snacks, Thai and Western cuisines served tapas-style and element set menus. A wide range of fresh fruit juices, cocktails and wines by the glass are available. The relaxed and chilled-out atmosphere is complemented by background lounge music. McFarland House is also an excellent choice for Sunday Brunch. 91 Hua Hin, Khao Takiap Road Tel: 03 252 1234 www.huahin.regency.hyatt.com

The Veranda Grill ■ The Veranda Grill offers both a relaxed outdoor atmosphere on the beachfront, as well as an indoor dining experience, featuring exceptional views across the Gulf of Thailand. The setting is perfect for sampling some of the sea’s freshest delights. You can choose from a wide selection of authentic Thai cuisine along with continental dishes, all of which are carefully prepared to the chef ’s exacting standards. Veranda Lodge, Hua Hin Beach, 113 Soi Hua Hin 67, Petch Kasem Road, Prachuab 77110 Tel: 032 533678 email: huahin@verandalodge.com www.verandalodge.com


COAST CO PATTAYA

Kok Chang • Wong Amat • Jomtien • Bang Saray • Sattahip • Rayong

Enjoy a gourmet Sunday Brunch at Mantra, Amari Orchid Pattaya. Page 126.

News & Deals

The Eastern Seaboard’s hottest dining and hotel promotions Page 126

Motorcross

Catch the premier championship of motorcross racing Page 126

Social

The Pattaya International Bed Race in pictures Page 128 TheBigChilli 125


Pa tt a ya

N ews and Deals

FIM Motocross World Championship Grand Prix ZOOMING into Thailand for the first time, the premier championship of motocross racing will bring top international riders to the kingdom for three-days of action-packed racing at PinThong 3 Industrial Estate in Chonburi, on Mar 7-9. Divided into three distinct classes – MX1, MX2, and MX3 – the annual globetrotting series is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), which kick-started the championships in 1957. Tickets range from B500-B5,000. :thaiticketmajor.com

Pizzas with a twist BORED of classic pizza toppings? Check out Havana Bar & Terrazzo at Holiday Inn Pattaya, where you can try a number of flavour-packed packed pies you won’t find elsewhere. On special offer this month: The ‘Pumpkin Patch Pizza’ – a thin and crispy pizza topped with sweet roasted pumpkin, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, roasted cashews and fried sage. Get it for half-price daily from 3pm-5pm. ☎ 038 725 555 :ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/pattaya/pyxpa/hoteldetail

Sunday brunch at Amari

Exquisite tastes at Centara FOIE gras fans should make a beeline this month for Acqua Restaurant, Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort, where Chef Alberto Bruni is cooking up a special selection of dishes featuring this prized ingredient. Available until March 31, the menu includes highlights such as Terrine with fig compote and moscato with wine jelly served with rabbit saddle; Foie gras ravioli with sage butter and crutin truffle cheese; and Monk Fish and escalope of foie gras on mashed potato accompanied by glazed leeks. Available daily from 6.30pm-10.30pm Price starts at B590++. ☎ 038 301 234 ext. 4266 :centarahotelsresorts.com/centaragrand/cmbr

ONE of Pattaya’s most popular Sunday brunches, the superb spread on offer at Mantra Restaurant & Bar, Amari Orchid Pattaya, is great value at just B1,690++ per person (add B1,490++ to include a wine buffet). What’s more, this month the brunch is set to get even better thanks to an extended selection of oysters, Alaskan king crabs, cold cuts, prime roasts, and more gourmet fare from around the world. ☎ 038 429 591 :mantra-pattaya.com

Pattaya Music Festival

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SILVERLAKE Music Festival may have been cancelled, but music fans can still look forward to catching some live performances in town this month. Held from Mar 21-23, the Pattaya Music Festival might not boast the same huge international acts as the aforementioned event, but it still looks set to offer plenty of fun thanks to its genre-hopping blend of pop, R&B, hip-hop, rock and jazz, performed by local and international acts across four stages. Best of all – it’s free! Performances from 6pm-midnight :pattayamusicfest.com


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S ocial

Hilton bed’s a winner THE Pattaya public was treated to a hilarious sight last month when wily racers took to the streets for the Pattaya International Charity Bed Race 2014. Pictured here is team Hilton Pattaya, led by the hotel’s GM Mr. Rudolf Troestler, whose F 16 themed craft came second in the event, beating off competition from 25 teams.

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Tr a vel

D ea ls and Promotion s Sireeampan Boutique Resort and Spa:

s ’ e t a M s rate

This new 11-suite luxury resort in the heart of Chiang Mai is currently offering special opening rates priced B10,000 per night, including breakfast. ☎ 053 327 777 :sireeampan.com

family r o s d n Frie land? i a h T g visitin now about k Let them e deals thes

GLOW Trinity Silom: Until the end of 2014, the ‘Stay 3 Nights and Save 15%’ package offers rates starting at B2,550 per night for a Superior room with free Wi-Fi. Promotion is also available for Deluxe room and Premier room categories. ☎ 02 231 5050 :glowbyzinc.com/silom Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort and Spa: From now until Dec 30, the hotel’s ‘Weekend

City Escape’ package offers a weekend rate starting at B4,900++ per night in a Deluxe room. Highlights include daily breakfast buffet, romantic international dinner buffet with Thai dance performances, free Wi-Fi and late check out. Deal is valid only for stays checking in on Fri and Sat. ☎ 02 365 9111 :bangkok-riverside.anantara.com

GLOW Elixir Koh Yao Yai Amari Buriram United: In conjunction with the Resort: Until Apr 30, a ‘Paradise Package’ ‘Miracle of Phanom Rung Festival’ on Apr 5 – 6 in Buriram, offers 20% discount on rooms booked for a minimum of three consecutive nights. Rates start at B4,000 per night for a Superior Villa inclusive of breakfast for two. ☎ 087 808 3838 :zinchospitality.com/glowbyzinc/kohyaoyai

Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok: Until the end of the year, a

Eastin Grand Sathorn: Until Sept

30, the hotel’s ‘Thai Cooking Class Package’ offers a two-nights’ stay in a Superior room at B7,988++, and includes daily breakfast buffet, free Wi-Fi, and a half-day cooking class for one person at Blue Elephant Royal Thai Cuisine and Cooking School. Stay two nights at B10,198++ and the half-day cooking class will be upgraded to two persons. ☎ 02 210 8100 :eastingrandsathorn.com

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the hotel’s ‘Super Saver Package’ offers a two-nights’ stay at B4,106++. The package includes free welcome drinks, daily breakfast for two, a welcome fruit platter, and 20% discount on food and beverages. Available until Jun 30.

Aloft Bangkok: Until

Jun 30, the hotel’s ‘Red Hot Deal’ offers a one-night’s stay starting at B2,790++ (includes breakfast). ☎ 02 207 7000 :aloftholtels. com/bangkoksukhumvit11

“Suite Package” offers rates starting at B8,000 per night for a Suite room. Highlights include American breakfast, 24 hour in-room Wi-Fi for one user, and a welcome drink at Blue Sky rooftop restaurant. Stay a minimum of three nights and you will also receive free roundtrip transfers between the airport and hotel, and a B1,000 spa voucher. ☎ 02 541 1234 Ext. 4210 :centarahotelsresorts.com/centaragrand/cglb



The BigChilli March 2014